Directed by Vitaly Mansky • Documentary • 2021 • 100 minutes
GORBACHEV. HEAVEN finds acclaimed director Vitaly Mansky (UNDER THE SUN) at home with a man who helped to shape the 20th-century: Mikhail Gorbachev.
The Soviet leader was acclaimed as the architect of Glasnost and Perestroika, policies that gave the citizens of the Soviet Union—what Ronald Reagan called “the Evil Empire”—a chance to be free. He even tore down the Berlin Wall.
But at the same time, under his rule, the Chernobyl nuclear facility exploded and its destruction was concealed. Citizens demanding independence in the Baltic states died. Soldiers wielding shovels brutally suppressed protesters in Tbilisi. Soviet tanks killed peaceful demonstrators in Baku. Under Gorbachev, the Soviet empire collapsed. He is now condemned by his own people.
This intimate portrait finds Gorbachev living alone in an empty house outside Moscow, still carrying the burdens of his past.