In this absorbing and well-researched documentary, Werner Herzog explores the rise and fall of the eighth and final Premier of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev.
This powerful piece doesn’t just capture the work of a revolutionary leader who strove for the betterment and protection of his country, but also the beautiful life he led. The stunning orchestral soundtrack created an emotional atmosphere, combined with excerpts from his days in power that showcase a capable and progressive man who united Russia and the West over a feud that had lasted nearly a century.
The film paints Gorbachev as a man not above his own people, a man who cared deeply for his country, and in the end betrayed by his own government with their vote to disband the communist party. Werner Herzog’s magnificent portrayal of the final years of the Soviet Union, and the man who saw it to the very end, illuminates parts of history usually overlooked.
The one drawback to this experience was the fact that the English subtitles for Gorbachev’s words had been cut off at the bottom of the screen, which slightly detracted from the significance of his words. But still, overall a truly fascinating documentary for any history buff with a fascination with the Cold War period.
The 5th Manchester Film Festival is taking place at the ODEON Great Northern from 2nd March to 10th March 2019.