Mikhail Gorbachev, aged 90 and a former leader of the USSR, welcomes the visit of filmmaker Vitaly Mansky to his home on the outskirts of Moscow. The camera captures a fascinating dialogue in which Gorbachev looks back and examines his political career without giving it too much importance. However, the history of the 20th century and the turn of the millennium cannot be understood without Gorbachev. Mansky touches on delicate issues, but Gorbachev eludes questions with eloquent silences. The Russian politician’s true essence emerges when he talks about the unconditional love for his late wife Raisa.
The conversation revolves around the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet empire and Putin's current Russia. Political reflections take place in a homely atmosphere, around a table full of sweets and vodka. Gorbachev's delicate health does not prevent him from making jokes, reciting poetry and getting excited when singing old folk songs. Award for Best Directing at IDFA 2020.
A film that evokes the isolation and decline faced by a man who was once all-important, but decided to step, irreversibly, outside history.— Screendaily
A poetic portrait of a poignant political afterlife.— Stephen Dalton · Hollywood Reporter
It's more a poetic character study than exacting political profile.— Guy Lodge · Variety