Gorbachev. Heaven, dir. Vitaly Mansky, Latvia / Czech Republic 2020, 100 min., Russian with English subtitles
The latest film from renegade director Vitaly Mansky (Under the Sun, Putin’s Witnesses) is an enthralling portrait of the Soviet Union’s final President – the man who, more than anyone, was responsible for the creation of modern Russia.
Mikhail Gorbachev was the architect of glasnost (‘openness’) and perestroika (‘reconstruction’), the twin progressive policies designed to liberate the citizens of the USSR from what Gorbachev called ‘the Era of Stagnation’. A hero to some and a traitor to others, Gorbachev now lives in a modest house near Moscow, its humble decor a stark contrast to the gold-plated splendour preferred by Russia’s current leader. And 30 years on from the events that reshaped Europe, Vitaly Mansky’s gripping encounter captures Gorbachev in the autumn of his years – his health fading but his memory still fully intact.
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