DOK Leipzig Film Festival

Meeting Gorbachev

Meeting Gorbachev

In terms of realpolitik, these meetings between Mikhail Gorbachev and Werner Herzog might well be termed a summit. And the meetings between the filmmaker and the former leader of the Soviet Union were indeed prepared and executed like summit meetings. Werner Herzog, André Singer and their crew visited the initiator of glasnost and perestroika in his absolute seclusion near Moscow three times over a period of six months.

It’s the first time that Herzog focuses so directly on a politician, though he makes no bones about his admiration for the now 87-year-old statesman and Nobel Peace Prize winner. By the same token, it’s a first for Mikhail Gorbachev, too, to let himself be questioned by an artist who avowedly is looking for a sound that’s different from what a professional journalist wants to hear and provoke. In his latest documentary, Herzog follows significant stations of Gorbachev’s political and personal career on a new quest for ecstatic moments behind factual truths.

Ralph Eue
Original Title: Meeting Gorbachev
Country: UK, USA, Germany
Year: 2018
Language: English, German, Polish, Russian
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 91 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour and B&W
Director: Werner Herzog, André Singer
Producer: Lucki Stipetić, Svetlana Palmer
Cinematographer: Yuriy Burak, Richard Blanshard
Editor: Michael Ellis
Music: Nicholas Singer
Sound: Vladimir Rizun, Vasiliy Amochkin, Simon Bishop, Alexander Kuckuck
Script: Werner Herzog

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig 2018 catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author's name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.