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Gorbachev – one of the largest

Meeting Gorbachev
Regissør: Werner Herzog André Singer
(USA, Tyskland, Storbritannia)

Gorbachev:> / b> Meeting Gorbachev is a close and engaging portrait of the man who inadvertently provided the impetus for the fall of the Soviet Union, and who still advocates disarmament and cooperation.

I Meeting Gorbachev director Werner Herzog and his British producer offer a rare glimpse into Mikhail Gorbachev's private world. Through a series of interviews with Gorbachev – who are physically impaired but who have retained their sharp wit and clear intellect – Herzog maps the life of a man he accurately describes as "one of the greatest leaders in the 20. century".

Gorbachev, who has now become 87, shows the international limelight daily that he has lost none of his characteristic humor and humanity. Herzog is quick to conclude this, with recording material that usually ends up on the floor of the locker room: the cheerful remark about the Russian soundman putting on the mosquito ("He's trying to snap something out of my pocket!"), And Gorbachev's recollection from when he was a boy, before the war, about a meeting with ethnic Germans in one Kolko (collective use) in the neighborhood – a meeting that left him with a lifelong positive impression of Germans because they made such unlikely good gingerbread. And for the well-informed: a glimpse, early in the film, of Pavel Palashchenko – the interpreter who worked with him during the 80 years and was present at historical events such as when Reagan and Gorbachev signed the Strategic Nuclear Reduction Agreement. The director wonders if Gorbachev is just polite, but concludes that he is a real, decent guy.

Werner Herzog, now 76 and known for doing quite extreme things as a filmmaker, presents a very lovable work about a man who had a profound impact on his own country's destiny.

With Herzog telling throughout the film – with his well-articulated, hoarse English with German accent – moves Meeting Gorbachev themselves on the edge. . .

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Nick Holdsworth
Holdsworth is a writer, journalist and filmmaker.

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