The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the Sedona premiere of the award-winning new documentary “Meeting Gorbachev” May 24-29 at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.
Werner Herzog and André Singer’s riveting documentary “Meeting Gorbachev” — 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.
“Meeting Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev three times over a six-month period was a fascinating and enlightening experience,” said acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog. “I was anxious not to film a biography of him but to try to understand the character of such an important figure. Here was a man who changed the course of the twentieth century and whose actions transformed the world I grew up in; yet in Moscow, I found a somewhat tragic and lonely figure, surrounded by people who blamed him for the loss of the Soviet Union and for not fulfilling the promises of perestroika and glasnost that he had hoped would improve their lives.”
“Our conversations were frank, and wide-ranging, from his anger over the lack of progress over nuclear arms reduction that he had initiated with Ronald Reagan to personal tragedies such as the loss of his beloved wife Raisa in 1999. Although he was not a physically well man, his intelligence, charisma and sense of purpose were still sharp and illuminating and it was a pleasure to have been able to meet such a charismatic, genuine and significant giant of the 20th century,” added Herzog.
“Meeting Gorbachev” will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre May 24-29. Showtimes will be 7 p.m. on Friday, Sunday and Monday, May 24, 26 and 27; and 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 28 and 29.
Tickets are $12, or $9 for Film Festival members. For tickets and more information, please call 928-282-1177. Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona.