Deeply personal, fiercely political, whimsical and unpredictable in style, and direct in voice, writer-director Slava Tsukerman’s Perestroika resonates across personal, national, global, and even cosmic levels, all at once. After 17 years of self-imposed exile in America, renowned Jewish astrophysicist Sasha Greenburg returns to his hometown, Moscow, in 1992, the year that Perestroika (“restructuring”) is sending shock waves through the social, cultural, and political life of Russia. Perestroika has meant greater political freedom, but it’s a freedom without the infrastructure of purpose such that millions are flailing for opportunity. The young yearn for a vitality lacking in their cultural life, the elderly must live on measly pensions, the black market thrives, and vodka-rationing is causing widespread discontent in a nation rife with alcoholics.
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