A Valuable and Moving Account of One Man's Place in History
I had the good fortune to see this engrossing documentary on the opening night of the 2019 Trieste Film Festival - and what an appropriate choice it was to begin the 30th edition of the festival (also the 30th anniversary year of the fall of the Berlin Wall).
Ignore the short-sighted comments of the reviewer who laughably awarded this 1/10 (probably working on behalf of the wretched Putin, who could never measure up to the stature of a political titan such as Gorbachev).
Naturally, being one man's account of the part he played in such a volatile era, it's bound to be subjective. However, Herzog attempts to place Gorbachev's recollections in context, using some rarely seen archive footage in the process.
The way Gorbachev was elevated to the top of the Soviet Union is seen here in almost comical terms, as his three predecessors - relics of the old Communist Party - are despatched in quick succession to their resting place at the foot of the Kremlin Wall. The real emotion comes towards the end when we learn about the final days of Mikhail's beloved - and much-admired - wife, Raisa.
It's a truly fascinating look at a remarkable time in world history, and seeing again some of the heavyweight political players of the past only goes to emphasise the paucity of great leaders the world is suffering at the moment. The 90 minutes of this film passed quickly - always a good sign.
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