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Opening Film 2018
Meeting Gorbachev Werner Herzog, André Singer

An artist and a statesman talk freely about everything under the sun, Chernobyl and German Reunification and, last but not least, Mikhail Gorbachev and Werner Herzog.

Meeting Gorbachev

Documentary Film
91 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lucki Stipetić, Svetlana Palmer
Werner Herzog, André Singer
Nicholas Singer
Yuriy Burak, Richard Blanshard
Michael Ellis
Werner Herzog
Vladimir Rizun, Vasiliy Amochkin, Simon Bishop, Alexander Kuckuck
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