Screened as part of NZIFF 2019
The unifying global vision of Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, brought unprecedented openness to government, put nuclear disarmament on the international agenda and allowed Eastern Europe to escape the stranglehold of Moscow without a fight. In late 1991 he was ousted and the dismantling of empire fell into less scrupulous hands.
Interviewing a rueful and forthright Gorbachev at 87, retracing his rise and fall in vivid strokes, and seeking testimony from other key players, director Werner Herzog provides a moving portrait of his statesmanship, his humanity and his profound historical impact. — BG
“Consisting primarily of a sit-down interview with the former Soviet leader, Werner Herzog’s Meeting Gorbachev speeds through a vast stretch of the 20th century, explaining the decline of the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain through the eyes of the man whose reforms precipitated much of it… Meeting Gorbachev is a hagiography, but it’s unafraid to position itself as such; Herzog makes his case proudly and passionately.” — Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine