I (nakonetz!) watched My Perestroika, a documentary that details the experiences of several families in Moscow before and after Perestroika, the reformation/restructuring of the Soviet Union that helped to bring about its downfall.
I cannot speak highly enough of this film. It was so wonderfully well done (footage in black and white juxtaposed with that from the last decade, etc.), and the focus on the personal as a way to explore this time made it focus on national memory and identity, as opposed to national history (she wrote, insufferably). I’m not sure if I loved it as much as I did because the director probably came from a similar viewpoint as I do (an American who is not Russian, but who has studied the language and culture and country), or because I already knew something about the time period (that is, I think the movie would be difficult to follow if one didn’t know anything about the collapse of the Soviet Union), or because, as I suspect, it is a simply great film.
Also, it includes what I now consider to be the most romantic conversation I’ve ever heard on film:
Lubya (wife of Borya): Look at your wife, greeting her husband at the door with a bottle of the beer! Where could you find such a treasure?
Borya (husband of Lubya): Nowhere.
Lubya: Only at Leningrad State Pedagogical Institute.