My Perestroika (English Subtitled) 2011 NR

(14) IMDb 7.2/10
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MY PERESTROIKA follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times -- from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia.

Starring:
Boris Meyerson Boris Meyerson,Andrei Yevgrafov
Runtime:
1 hour, 28 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Documentary, Kids & Family
Director Robin Hessman
Starring Boris Meyerson Boris Meyerson, Andrei Yevgrafov
Studio Red Square Productions LLC
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Igor Biryukov on June 24, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm a naturalized American who grew up in Russia. I'm delighted that this film is available to enjoy for Americans interested in Russia and the history of the Soviet Union. It's also could be interesting for Russians themselves. The film has flair and many insights and is definitely worth watching. I do have some qualms. Towards the end I felt the film was losing its message and was beginning to pander to the U.S. stereotypes of Russia: the church, the elections, nationalism, Putin, etc.

a] My first qualm is this: Ms. Robin Hessman -- obviously a very talented director -- doesn't challenge her Russians. She chose to be outside the film. She is an invisible presence -- only a camera. We only see and hear the Muscovites who appear to be rambling on and on and on. Ergo, when the characters say something silly or illogical there is no one to push back and ask probing questions.

b] I was struck by excessive self-pitying of my former compatriots. The position in a nutshell is this: "When we were young we believed the official ideology. Alas, this ideology was dumb. Today we struggle with the lack of ideals." For me, it's hard to take it seriously. The majority of Russians knew that the official ideology was a load of garbage, but we were willing to put up with it. This is because like so often in Russia the alternative is anarchy -- a kind of Hobbesian "state of nature". This is precisely what happened in Russia after 1991. Here are the keys to understanding of almost universal deep dislike of Gorbachev by the ordinary Russians: he unleashed the forces of chaos he couldn't control.

c] The U.S. and Russia.
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Format: DVD
Robin Hessman's "My Perestroika" is an absolutely fascinating collection of personal accounts from five individuals who lived through various stages of Russian history. While this documentary does offer crucial insight about the changing political climate, it is perhaps most effective if you have a prior experience with the topic as a reference point. I'm not sure how much you'd take away if you knew nothing about the subject as this is not meant to be a comprehensive lesson about life before and after the dismantling of the Iron Curtain. While I certainly don't consider myself an expert on International politics, I lived through this era and am familiar with Russia's evolution from its days within the USSR to its modern-day incarnation. "My Perestroika" is also particularly interesting to me as I am of the same age group as the individuals that agreed to act as interviewees for the documentary. And in many ways, I see their world in parallel with my own.

The film takes five former classmates from Moscow who are approaching their fortieth year. They were raised in an era of pure Communism and each blindly worked to become upright Soviet citizens fully accepting the dogma of their party. It's all they knew, the ritual, and it was not something that was questioned. This period is showcased through archival footage as well as old news stories and personal photographs. Upon their college years, the country entered a period of upheaval with enormous social and political changes--new freedoms interspersed with new economic challenges. As each navigated their way (quite differently) within the new Russia, they were swept up in many changes which led to the current and continuing reign of Vladimir Putin.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Pawl VINE VOICE on June 9, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My Perestroika takes a great look at the last generation to come up, during the tail end of the Soviet Union's claw like grip on nations, like Russia, and the rest. This takes a candid look at the surreal, delusional world the Soviet youth were immersed in -one where patriotism did not correlate with reality, children were made to speak in patriotic lingo, at all times, and conduct themselves as Real People. Citizens were stripped of all individuality to be brainwashed. This was was something that the subjects challenged, as did thousands like them. The subjects, here, are interviewed about their youths, their lives, now, and and those interviews are juxtaposed with excellent footage from their childhoods (black and white reels contrasting their lives of thirty years ago with their contemporary day-to-day experience). Subjects include two school teachers, a punk rocker, a clothing salesman and a billiard sales rep.

The interviews are honest, humorous, insightful and haunting. To compare our world in the United States (in the mid 1960s to 1980s) with USSR is completely like comparing watermelons to apples. The propaganda we were fed of the fear of Communism, USSR's intentions with our nation, and others, versus what they were taught to believe are stark contrasts. It truly is amazing what politics and spin doctors do to divide people in our world - before and now. What a great look at a culture many of us may not know much about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KaityLapham on September 19, 2012
Format: DVD
My Perestroika, directed by Robin Hessman, tells the compelling stories of five people who attended School #57 in the Soviet Union. This film looks at the lives of these five former classmates from their childhood to present-day Russia through the use of interviews, anecdotes, political films, and even home videos. Olga is an independent single mother, who works for a billiard table servicing company. Lubya and Borya are history teachers at School #57, where there son attends school as well. Andrei is a businessman who started his own men's clothing company. Ruslan is a single father who lives a humble life as a musician. Although all are in very different places in their lives now, they all have similar stories of a childhood full of conformity, patriotism, and--as many Americans would be surprised to hear--complete joy and happiness. Each of these people expressed nostalgia towards the lives where they were stress free and held no worries. "We had such wonderful times. After school, we always played outside together. We felt like we didn't have a care in the world," said Olga. But Perestroika was a very devastating time in the lives of these citizens of the Soviet Union, in that it showed the people that everything they had been taught was not reality. Borya recalled that, by eighth or ninth grade, he and his fellow classmates noticed that "you saw with your own eyes that they say one thing and do something totally different." This film helps one understand how these people have come to this realization and how it has affected their lives to this day. Although I honestly was not expecting it to be very interesting, it captured my attention from beginning to end. It was a great foundation on which to build my knowledge of the Soviet Union and Communism!
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