By Peter Knegt | Indiewire March 10, 2011 at 5:37AM
International Film Circuit has announced its plans for a theatrical release of Robin Hessman's "My Perestroika," which premiered at last year's Sundance Film Festival and has since gone on to screen at New Directors/New Films, Full Frame (where it won the 2010 Filmmaker Award), and Silverdocs (where it won the 2010 Special Jury Award). The film will open in New York on March 23rd, followed by a national rollout.
Full release below.
NEW YORK, NY (March 10, 2011) - Following a remarkable tour of US film festivals which included Sundance, New Directors/New Films, Full Frame (where it won the 2010 Filmmaker Award), and Silverdocs (where it won the 2010 Special Jury Award), MY PERESTROIKA will have a theatrical release this Spring via distributor International Film Circuit.
Produced, directed and shot by Robin Hessman in her feature filmmaking debut, MY PERESTROIKA is an intimate and lovingly crafted portrait of the last generation of Soviet children brought up behind the Iron Curtain. The theatrical premiere of MY PERESTROIKA is set for March 23rd at New York City's IFC Center, followed by a national rollout including Boston on April 8th and Los Angeles on April 15th.
When the USSR broke apart in 1991, a generation of young people faced a new realm of possibilities. Hessman's documentary tells the story of several Moscow schoolmates who went from sheltered Soviet childhoods through the hopes of Gorbachev's Glasnost (openness) and Perestroika (restructuring) and the chaos of the USSR's dissolution, to building new lives as adults in Post-Soviet Russia. Today, Borya and Lyuba are married history teachers; Olga is a single mother who works for a billiard table rental company; Ruslan, once a famous punk musician, now busks in the Moscow metro; and Andrei owns a thriving chain of menswear stores. With candor and humor, each paints a picture of the challenges, dreams and disillusionment they've faced in Russia's post-communist era.
Interweaving the contemporary world with vintage home movies and Soviet propaganda footage from the era, director Hessman, who spent years living in Moscow as a film student and later as a producer on the Russian Sesame Street, reveals a Russia rarely ever seen on film, where people are frank about their lives and forthcoming about their country. Engaging, funny and positively inspiring, in MY PERESTROIKA politics is personal, and history progresses one day, one life at a time.
"From the age of ten when I first subscribed to Soviet Life Magazine, I have been fascinated by the Soviet Union," said Hessman. "My Perestroika delves deeply into the lives of my generation of Russians. It's been gratifying to see the warm reception my film has received at festivals nationwide - both from the Russian communities, and from Americans who grew up with the USSR as their enemy. I look forward to working with International Film Circuit to reach even larger audiences in theaters."
"MY PERESTROIKA won me over, first with its rare home movie footage of happy Soviet childhoods that so mirrored the home movies most of us have in our own closets, and then with its nuanced portrayal of how real people are living in today's Russia, told in a concrete, personal way that makes both the past and present come vividly to life," said Wendy Lidell, president of International Film Circuit.
INTERNATIONAL FILM CIRCUIT has been releasing independent films in the US and Canada since 1987. The company's recent documentary releases have included Enemies of the People, Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, The Devil Came on Horseback, and Academy-Award nominee Darwin's Nightmare.