My Perestroika

Robin Hessman

A warm, intimate look back at changes in Russia during the past twenty years. Seen through the eyes of a few friends who, aided by their home movies, remember a youth spent during the times of the Soviet Union. Humorous and nostalgic.

History is constantly being rewritten in Russia. 'In Russia, it’s the past that is unpredictable,' is a well-known proverb. The two history teachers we hear in the documentary My Perestroika know all about this. In their late 30s, Borya and Lyuba Meyerson now teach their students a completely different version of history from the one they learned when they were at school.
Together with three classmates from back then, they reminisce about the unusual times in which they grew up. Their sheltered childhood, in which they sang the national anthem in front of the TV, is mentioned in passing, as is the collapse of the Soviet Union while they were teenagers. They are children of a world that has disappeared. Hungry for information, they consumed piles of books, but political confusion makes the soul feel empty. What remains of their fatherland?
Without leaning on experts or voice-over, Hessman, who lived in Russia for eight years, colours - in history with their personal stories and rare Super-8 material.

More information

Robin Hessman
Production country & year
USA, United Kingdom - 2010
87 min
Robin Hessman, Rachel Wexler
Robin Hessman
Alla Kovgan, Garret Savage
Sound design
Peter Levin
Lev (Ljova) Zhurbin