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Meeting Gorbachev (2018)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 3 May 2019 (USA)
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The life of Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final President of the Soviet Union in chronological order.

Directors:

Werner Herzog, André Singer (as Andre Singer)

Writer:

Werner Herzog
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yuri Andropov ... Himself (archive footage)
James Baker James Baker ... Himself
Leonid Brezhnev ... Himself (archive footage)
Konstantin Chernenko Konstantin Chernenko ... Himself (archive footage)
Mikhail Gorbachev ... Himself
Raisa Maximovna Gorbacheva Raisa Maximovna Gorbacheva ... Herself (archive footage)
Werner Herzog ... Himself - Interviewer and Narrator
Miklos Nemeth Miklos Nemeth ... Himself
Vladimir Putin ... Himself
Ronald Reagan ... Himself (archive footage)
George Shultz ... Himself
André Singer ... Himself
Horst Teltschik Horst Teltschik ... Himself
Margaret Thatcher ... Herself (archive footage)
Lech Walesa ... Himself
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Storyline

The life of Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final President of the Soviet Union in chronological order.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Germany | USA

Language:

English | Russian | German | Polish

Release Date:

3 May 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Herzog incontra Gorbaciov See more »

Filming Locations:

Moscow, Russia See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,128, 5 May 2019

Gross USA:

$251,837

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$251,837
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev was the eighth and last President of the Soviet Union from 1988 until 1991. See more »

Connections

References Gorbachev. After Empire (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Werner Herzog interviews Mikhail Gorbachev: just watch!
26 May 2019 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"Meeting Gorbachev" (2018 release; 90 min.) is a documentary about the life and times of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last President of the Soviet Union. As the movie opens, Gorbachev receives the crew in his office, where he is presented with chocolate (without sugar due to his diabetes) for his 87th birthday. Herzog informs us that it is April, 2018, and it is his third and last interview of Gorbachev in a span of 6 months. We then go back in time, as Herzog looks at Gorbachev's upbringing in the remote Stavropol region in the Soviet south. At this point we are less than 10 min. into the movie.

Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from writer-director Werner Herzog. Here he digs into the life of one of the pivotal leaders of the 20th century. Herzog sets the table nicely, showing us the early 80s, by which the Soviet Union was run into the ground, socially, morally and economically, and that drastic change (the Russian word for that being "perestroika") was needed. By the time Gorbachev came into power in the mid-80s, it was almost too late. Then the Chernobyl nuclear disaster took place in 1986, leading to another priority for Gorbachev: nuclear disarmament. The interviews themselves are okay (no major new revelations), what made the documentary work so well is the bigger picture, and how quickly it all happened. Werner Herzog, not a spring chicken either (he's not a crisp 78 years young) has made many documentaries before, and I typically love them. I've come to the point that as soon as I see Herzog's name associated with a documentary, I'll go watch it, period. Heck, he could probably even make a documentary about the Yellow Pages look and sound interesting. As for Gorbachev, he will forever be a beloved figure in the West, but not so much at home. When asked by Herzog what should be on his tombstone, Gorbachev responds: "We tried". (Incidentally, I visited the Soviet Union in 1983 while attending university in Belgium, and witnessed first hand the long lines of people trying to buy food staples from mostly empty store fronts. Absolutely amazing.)

"Meeting Gorbachev" premiered at last year's Telluride film festival to positive buzz, and it is no accident this movie is currently 100% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie opened this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Saturday screening where I saw this at was attended okay but not great (exactly 10 people). If you have an interest in geopolitics or important world leaders, you could a lot worse than this and I invite you to check it out, be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.


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