An intimate and moving portrait of the last ruler of The Soviet Union, ‘Meeting Gorbachev’ is in essence an odd love letter and ode to arguably one of the most important leaders of his time.
Chronicling his remarkable rise from poverty to his extremely important political career, Herzog and Singer focus on some of the most pivotal events during Gorbachev’s reign – “negotiations with the U.S. to reduce nuclear weapons; cessation of Soviet control of Eastern Europe and the reunification of Germany” – the documentary not only brings to light ‘Gorbachev: The Man’ but also accentuates ‘Gorbachev: The Legend’.
Narrated entirely by the director himself, Herzog juxtaposes archival footage with his one-on-one interview with numerous politicians, including Gorbachev and breaks from his traditional filmmaking style to paint an intimate picture of the leader.
While great care has gone into revealing certain aspects of the otherwise reclusive politician, the interviews stop short of being overtly critical of the man and some of his policies.
But ‘Meeting Gorbachev’ is a relevant, significant and admirable achievement. A touching tribute to the man and in the words of Herzog himself – ” Providence will give him 400 years for his voice to live on.”