My Perestroika | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 87 minutes · 2011

Documentary
In this quiet and sometimes fascinating documentary, five middle-aged Moscovites who grew up in the waning years of the Soviet Union talk about the past and gauge how their lives have changed since the collapse of communism. Olga, a rental agent for a billiard table company, reveals that she was the first in her family to denounce Lenin, who was still a hero to her parents. Andrei, a distributor of expensive French shirts, marvels at the fact that he's drifted into this line of work, explaining that as a boy he thought his job would be chosen for him. Ruslan, a street musician and former punk-rock idol, remembers how constricted popular music was before perestroika: “In the stores here, all they had was this Soviet bullshit.” Coming of age on the cusp of history has given these people a unique perspective: they wistfully recall the old days but their memories are colored by nostalgia, and when they speak of freedom and self-determination these are hard to distinguish from the simple responsibilities of adulthood. Robin Hessman directed. In Russian with subtitles.
Director: Robin Hessman
Producer: Robin Hessman and Rachel Wexler

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