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My Perestroika

by Robin Hessman

Five former childhood classmates paint a complex picture of the dreams and disillusionment of those raised behind the Iron Curtain.

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My Perestroika follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times — from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. Together, these childhood classmates paint a complex picture of the dreams and disillusionment of those raised behind the Iron Curtain.

quoteEnthralling….My Perestroika gives you a privileged sense of learning the history of a place not from a book but from the people who lived it…Astoundingly timely.
Stephen Holden
New York Times

quoteMy Perestroika offers intriguing insights into the late years of the Soviet Union, the challenges of post-Soviet social and economic flux, and the unique nature of contemporary Russian life. It is at once both an intimate drama and an historical, sociological, and anthropological study on an epic scale.
Jennifer Siegel, Associate Professor of History
The Ohio State University

quoteThe collapse of the Soviet Union and the effort to create a stable post-communist Russian society are treated adroitly by the filmmaker Robin Hessman in My Perestroika, an engaging and insightful documentary... Hessman deftly captures the dashing of naïve hopes that full-fledged democracy would inevitably rise from the ashes of the Soviet state. Offering a fascinating look at the impact of drastic political change on people's lives, this is highly recommended.
F. Swietek
Video Librarian

quoteMy Perestroika is a terrific film for classroom use in courses on post-Soviet Russia. No other film documents so beautifully and vividly the effects of enormous social change on the lives of everyday Russians, together with amazing and instructive documentary footage. I included the film in my freshman seminar, "Russia after Communism," along with a class visit from director Robin Hessman, and many students remarked that it was a high point in the course.
Andrea Lanoux, Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Slavic Studies, Connecticut College

quote… a work of such exhilarating depth and humor.
Dorothy Rabinowitz
The Wall Street Journal
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AWARDS & SCREENINGS:

  • World Premiere- Sundance Film Festival, January 2010. US Documentary Competition

  • AFI Discovery Silverdocs Film Festival, Silver Spring, MD - Winner, Special Jury Award

  • San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, San Francisco, CA

  • History Makers- 2011 Award Nominee, Best Use Of Archive In A History Production

  • FOCAL International- Nominee for Best Use of Footage in a Cinema Release

  • Medocino Film Festival, Menocino, CA - Winner, Global Issues Award

  • Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival, Thessaloniki, Greece

  • International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands

  • Pravo Ljudski Human Rights Film Festival, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina –  Winner, Special Jury Award

  • “Cinema Verite” Iran International Documentary Film Festival, Tehran, Iran

  • Doha Tribeca Film Festival, Doha Qatar

  • Milwaukee Film Festival – Winner, Jury Award, Best Documentary

  • Hot Docs Film Festival, Toronto, Official Selection

  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Durham, NC - Winner, Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award

  • New Directors/New Films, MoMA and Lincoln Center, NYC

  • FOCAL International- Nominee, Best Use of Footage in a Cinema Release

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My Perestroika

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