Saturday Editor’s Pick: “My Perestroika” (2010)

by on April 2, 2011Posted in: Editor's Pick

Ella Taylor for NPR:

“If you’re under the impression that post-Soviet Russia is a Wild West peopled at one extreme by gold-chained Mafiosi and at the other by starving babushkas hawking single daffodils in the Moscow subway, you may want to treat yourself to a riveting new documentary by New York-based filmmaker Robin Hessman.”

Lauren Wissott for Slant:

“Indeed, the specificity of My Perestroika—from its upbeat score consisting of everything from traditional tunes to Russian hardcore, to its footage of the “mass healings” that sprung up after communism’s fairytales were exposed—is what makes the film so riveting.”


Joshua Rothkopf for Time Out New York

“The scrim of nostalgia doesn’t blind these modern-day subjects, who came of age just as the system was collapsing. Rather, the tone here is light and nonjudgmental, rare to sociopolitical docs.”


Nic Rapold for Film Comment:

“It’s a refreshing alternative to many fictional representations of large nations weathering cataclysmic changes–a down-to-earth counterpoint to the likes of Cargo 200 or My Joy.”


Nathan Rabin for The AV Club:

“Its closest kin in the genre is Michael Apted’s “Up” films, which are similarly focused on how people change over time. The difference is that My Perestroika is also about how a country changes, and what parents—including a husband-and-wife team of history teachers—try to tell their children about what life was like just a few decades ago.”


TKTK profiles director Robin Hessman for the New York Times.

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