Tells the story of five people from the last generation of Soviet children who were brought up behind the Iron Curtain. Just coming of age when the USSR collapsed, they witnessed the world ... See full summary »
Tells the story of five people from the last generation of Soviet children who were brought up behind the Iron Curtain. Just coming of age when the USSR collapsed, they witnessed the world of their childhood crumble and change beyond recognition. Through the lives of these former schoolmates, this intimate film reveals how they have adjusted to their post-Soviet reality in today's Moscow. Written by
Life goes on. Political systems change. Economies provide wealth for all, or not. We ring the bell to start the school year, and life goes on.
This documentary takes the five graduates of PS 57 in Moscow through the wild changes of Perestroika and the end of the Soviet Union. The "money" line for me was "No sausage, but we were happy". In the old days they had less but life felt good. The film addresses the complicated question of Socialism vs. Capitalism, but not directly. And that's a strength. The lives of the five subjects are sketched out., The huge drama of the Soviet Union collapsing is reported succinctly. We get to see the outline of these lives. We get to ponder the tense present of some, the placid present of others, and compare it to the stable and happy but less prosperous earlier life.
A life on potatoes but without sausage seems grim to a materialist. A prosperous life without joy seems grim to a spiritualist. Both the Soviet Union and America were mixed economies. Both had socialist and capitalist elements. What's the right mix? This film is excellent background material for those pondering this question. It's also a great review of the last two decades of Moscow life.
Minor complaint: though the entire film is in Moscow, and the "no sausage" line seems more like a description of Perestroika outside the major cities.
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