Meeting Gorbachev at the Hop

Meeting Gorbachev

May 17, 2019

This event occurred as part of the 18/19 Hop Film season. This is an archived view.

Werner Herzog’s timely portrait of one of the greatest living politicians, the visionary final leader of the USSR.

18/19 Hop Film

Iconic filmmaker Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man) trains his camera and mellifluous narration on one of the greatest living politicians, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev—the visionary former General Secretary of the U.S.S.R. Now 87 and battling illness, Gorbachev is nonetheless wide-ranging and revealing in his interviews with Herzog, illuminating his experience in shaping the end of the Cold War (including the cessation of Soviet control of Eastern Europe), the reunification of Germany, and his negotiations with the U.S. to end nuclear proliferation. All of which he achieved in just six years.

Approaching his subject with both admiration and sympathy, Herzog explores the conditions of Gorbachev’s unlikely rise to power through a surprisingly candid and friendly rapport. Herzog’s ever-present themes soon emerge, as the director shapes a timely portrait of the absurdly unstable and temporal nature of those in the world’s most powerful positions.


“Here was a man who changed the course of the twentieth century and whose actions transformed the world I grew up in.”

Werner Herzog

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Black Family Visual Arts Center
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