Synopsis by Mark Deming
Many children who grew up during the Cold War were raised with a strong sense of nationalism, believing that they lived under the best circumstances and that the ideals of their leaders would prevail. So what happens to a generation who have the expectations of their childhood turned upside down? Filmmaker Robin Hessman profiles five people who were raised in the Soviet Union only to come of age as the U.S.S.R. was dissolved and rickety versions of democracy and capitalism rose in its wake in the documentary My Perestroika. Lyuba was raised in a patriotic household and was horrified by television images of chaos in America, while Borya, raised in a Jewish household, knew firsthand about the inequalities of the Soviet system and viewed authority with a wary eye. Today, Lyuba and Borya are married and work as schoolteachers, living with their children in a cramped flat but aware that in a nation that no longer guarantees housing to its people, they're fortunate to have what they have. Olga was the prettiest girl in her class and imagined that a grand future lay before her; now she's a single mother who has trouble supporting herself and her daughter renting pool tables to bars and nightspots. Ruslan grew up rebellious and became the guitarist with a famous Russian punk-rock band; having walked away from possible commercial success, he scrapes by playing his banjo for change from passers-by. And Andrei is one of the few who has thrived in the new Russia, selling expensive imported fashions to the businessmen who can afford them. My Perestroika was an official selection at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
generation, propaganda, Soviet-Union