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Gorbachev. Heaven

Gorbachev. Heaven

GORBACHEV. HEAVEN finds acclaimed director Vitaly Mansky (UNDER THE SUN) at home with a man who helped to shape the 20th-century: Mikhail Gorbachev. 

The Soviet leader was acclaimed as the architect of Glasnost and Perestroika, policies that gave the citizens of the Soviet Union—what Ronald Reagan called “the Evil Empire”—a chance to be free. He even tore down the Berlin Wall.

But at the same time, under his rule, the Chernobyl nuclear facility exploded and its destruction was concealed. Citizens demanding independence in the Baltic states died. Soldiers wielding shovels brutally suppressed protesters in Tbilisi. Soviet tanks killed peaceful demonstrators in Baku. Under Gorbachev, the Soviet empire collapsed. He is now condemned by his own people. 

This intimate portrait finds Gorbachev living alone in an empty house outside Moscow, still carrying the burdens of his past.

“The whole film is guided by the director’s genuine interest in unpacking a number of delicate topics, and commendably, his interview is underpinned by good journalistic rigour. It definitely represents a valuable historical account of the former president of the Soviet Union’s latter-day perspectives on the great global transformations he took part in at the time of the country’s dissolution – and that remains its strongest feature.” —Cineuropa

Moving, insightful. Alternating between head-on rhetorical confrontation and melancholic everyday observation, this weighty IDFA premiere should match the festival and arthouse profile of Mansky’s recent films “Under the Sun” and “Putin’s Witnesses,” sealing his reputation as one of the most essential working documentarians — with gutsy bravado to match his delicate formal finesse.—Variety

A lyrical portrait of a former political giant in his twilight years, Vitaly Mansky’s Gorbachev. Heaven is an unusually intimate docu-memoir that feels like an epitaph.—Hollywood Reporter

“Inquisitive, elegiac; a humanistic portrait.” —Eye for Film


Main credits

Gorbachev, Mikhail Sergeevich (on-screen participant)
Manskiĭ, Vitaliĭ (film director)
Manskiĭ, Vitaliĭ (screenwriter)
Mansk︠a︡ia, Natal︠ʹ︡ia (film producer)
Remunda, Filip (film producer)
Klusák, Vít (film producer)

Other credits

Cinematography, Alexandra Ivanova; editing, Yevgeny Rybalko; music, K̄arlis Auz̄ans.


; "Gorbachev. Heaven"; Icarus Films; Russia; USSR; Ronald Reagan; cold war; Eastern Europe; Biography; politics; ; "Gorbachev. Heaven"; Icarus Films

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