Director's Statement

PERESTROIKA is a filmed parable about a person who had devoted his life to finding out how the Universe works and at the transitional moment of his biography discovered that he is incapable of understanding even his own life. He finds his personal life and ways of our civilization absurd and self-destructive.

For me this film is very personal. Just as the protagonist of the film - Sasha Greenberg did, I had emigrated from Russia in the beginning of 70's and visited Moscow for the first time at the turn of 90's during the turmoil of 'perestroika' (restructuring). Similarly as Sasha Greenberg had, at that time I was reevaluating my life and ways of our civilization and found Moscow, swept by 'perestroika', an ideal back ground for such contemplation.

The role of science and scientist in modern society has always interested me very much. I started my career making science documentaries which dealt with the moral aspects of science. For many years I'd contemplated making a film about a scientist facing a moral choice. Again and again I was returning to this subject in my shorts, documentaries, scripts and projects. So PERESTROIKA, in a sense, is a result of the development period that has taken up practically entire my life.

At the moment when I was already finishing editing of PERESTROIKA I came across of the paragraph in the diary of a top Russian astrophysicist Victoriy Schvartzman:

 "What is more important to know: where do we live, or how we should live? The only things that are worth any attention are the rules of living."

Later I learned that, unable to answer the question "how should we live?" Viktoriy, in 1987 took his own life, just as Russian 'perestroika' was beginning. He couldn't pass through the 'perestroika' in his own life. The person created by my fantasy - Sasha Greenberg is trying to find the answer. The fantasy happened to be very close to life, but much more optimistic.

Slava Tsukerman