Meeting Gorbachev

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Movie Info

Werner Herzog and André Singer's riveting documentary, filled with unforgettable archive materials and based on three long interviews, provides incredible access to, arguably, the world's greatest living politician. Now 87 and battling illness, the visionary Mikhail Gorbachev, former General Secretary of the U.S.S.R, has mellowed and slowed down. Still, gently but resolutely, he is pushing towards his goals. Herzog, as on-screen interviewer, does not disguise his affection, celebrating Gorbachev's three remarkable accomplishments: negotiations with the U.S. to reduce nuclear weapons; cessation of Soviet control of Eastern Europe and the reunification of Germany; and the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc. All of this in six years! One German diplomat sums up Gorbachev's approach: "The process went so quickly that... opponents were overcome by the reality of the situation." Herzog and Singer remind us of the drastic and unforeseeable way the world changes.


Critic Reviews for Meeting Gorbachev

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (3)

  • "Meeting Gorbachev," though consistently engaging, is less a fireworks display than a fireside chat, and so feels curiously like an opportunity missed.

    Sep 21, 2018 | Full Review…

    Jessica Kiang

    Top Critic
  • Herzog's film may not be the final word on Gorbachev, but it is affectionate and candid and leaves audiences in a melancholy mood about the sometimes short-lived nature of reform.

    Sep 6, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Sep 4, 2018 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • Herzog has a knack for extracting pithy, poetic responses from his subjects, but here he outdoes himself.

    Sep 17, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It's a compelling piece of portraiture, clearly done from a place of admiration and respect.

    Sep 14, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Still, Herzog is quite correct in his characterization when he cites the Greek concept of kairos: the right man for the right moment.

    Sep 12, 2018 | Full Review…

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