Ajyal Film Festival 2021

All Films

My Perestroika (My Perestroika)

World Panorama

للترجمة العربية اضغط على

Robin Hessman / Feature Documentary / U.S.A., U.K. / 2010 / 87 min / Color and B&W / HDCAM
In Russian / English, Arabic subtitles
Interests: Documentary, History, Politics, Friendship
Middle East Premiere
Rated: General Audiences. Suitable for ages 4 and up.


  • Thu, Oct 28, 07:45 PM, (City Center 06) Regular screening
    • Q&A: Filmmaker, Producer & Cast in attendance
    Event has passed
  • Sat, Oct 30, 05:15 PM, (City Center 05) Regular screening
    • Q&A: Filmmaker, Producer & Cast in attendance
    Event has passed


Robin Hessman's documentary about changes in modern Russia focuses on five adults who grew up together as classmates and who now represent the last generation of Soviets growing up behind the Iron Curtain. Using a simple yet effective interviewing style, Hessman allows her subjects to freely reminisce about their Communist-influenced youth during the highly conformist 1970's, through the USSR collapse of the 1990's, right up to the ambiguous conditions today. Employing vintage family home movies and newer footage shot over the past five years, the transition to adulthood may recall Michael Apted's series of "Up" films following a group of British youths, yet Hessman's work delivers a far stronger geopolitical punch. Here we meet a couple of married schoolteachers, a highly successful clothing retailer, a former punk rocker, and a woman who, once considered to be the prettiest girl in school, now lives a humble existence below the poverty level. Their stories demonstrate just how the history of a country may sometimes be best defined by the lives of its average people rather than the machinations of its powerful leaders.

Official Film Website

About the Directors

Robin Hessman
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Hessman graduated from Brown University with Russian and film degrees, and earned her graduate degree in directing from the All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography in Moscow. She shared a student Academy Award in 1994 for a short documentary film, "Portrait of Boy with Dog." "My Perestroika" is her feature debut.


Robin Hessman
Robin Hessman, Rachel Wexler
Alla Kovgan, Garret Savage
Lev "Ljova" Zhurbin
Robin Hessman

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