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Source:  The Hollywood Reporter

Werner Herzog has directed documentaries all over the world. His latest is not his most visually striking since it’s composed primarily of talking heads, but it’s certainly one of his most pertinent and fascinating.

“Meeting Gorbachev” consists of interviews with the last leader of the former Soviet Union, and it carries an unmistakably rueful note because of changes in the world since Mikhail Gorbachev left the public stage. Now 87, the former Russian leader has a good deal to say about his legacy as well as his disappointments.

Co-directed by Andre Singer, the film was produced by the History Channel but deserves a theatrical release as well.

Herzog conducted three interviews with Gorbachev over a six-month period, and he has an obvious rapport with his subject.

The doc begins by sketching a quick history of earlier Russian leaders, and there is dark humor in the film’s chronicle of the ancients who succeeded to the top position in the Soviet Union after the death of Leonid Brezhnev in 1982. Two more leaders dropped dead in the next three years, until Gorbachev was named General Secretary in 1985.

What happened during his tenure was, of course, remarkable. The Cold War that had divided the world for decades came to an end, partly as a result of a series of reforms that Gorbachev instituted. Eastern Bloc countries that had been under Soviet role achieved their independence, and, most dramatically, the Berlin Wall came down, and Germany was reunified in 1990.

Read the story at The Hollywood Reporter.

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