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  • Mikhail Gorbachev, seated, and Werner Herzog, standing, gesture towards each other with their arms spread.


12:30 ONLY

Must End Thursday, June 20


“Here was a man who changed the course of the twentieth century and whose actions transformed the world I grew up in.” – Werner Herzog. Iconic filmmaker Werner Herzog (GRIZZLY MAN, CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS) trains his camera and mellifluous narration on one of the greatest living politicians, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev – the visionary former General Secretary of the U.S.S.R. Now 87 and battling illness, Gorbachev is nonetheless wide-ranging and revealing in his interviews with Herzog, illuminating his experience in shaping the end of the Cold War (including the cessation of Soviet control of Eastern Europe), the reunification of Germany, and his negotiations with the U.S. to end nuclear proliferation. All of which he achieved in just six years. One diplomat sums up Gorbachev’s approach: “The process went so quickly that… opponents were overcome by the reality of the situation.”

UK / US / GERMANY   2018   91 MINS.   1091 MEDIA


“Gorbachev might be 87 years old and starting to show his age, but — as will only become clearer as the film goes on — his mind is still too sharp for Herzog to successfully incept him with more exciting memories, and his will is forever too strong to be seduced into the deference the filmmaker has always demanded from the world around him. Not since Klaus Kinski has Herzog aimed his camera at such an uncontrollable subject, and that includes the erupting peaks of INTO THE INFERNO and the radioactive crocodiles in CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS. And yet, it’s ultimately because of Gorbachev’s seeming unwillingness to fit the director’s usual mold that MEETING GORBACHEV is able to become such a different and engaging bio-doc.”
– David Ehrlich, Indiewire

“One of the year’s best docs... powerful. Gorbachev turns out to be one of the most fascinating political figures of our time. Herzog has made the definitive film about the collapse that eventually led to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall... it still feels fresh and relevant to our times.”
– Jordan Ruimy, The Playlist

“A detailed and informative recap of the dismantling of the Soviet Union... And it’s a compelling piece of portraiture, clearly done from a place of admiration and respect.”
– Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

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