Meeting Gorbachev


From 1985 until 1991, Moscow had a very different kind of leader than it has today: President Mikhail Gorbachev. Open-minded, curious, and sometimes stubborn, Gorbachev ushered in so much change and unprecedented freedom in his six short years as leader that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and became one of the most important figures of the 20th century. But the same radical policies that excited the world are also blamed for the collapse of the Soviet Union, and for this reason many Russians consider him a traitor. Now 87 and in poor health, Gorbachev agreed to sit down with acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog for a series of conversations about his life and work. Herzog is a storyteller and the audience his collective companion on a quest to understand a man for whom his affection is clear. He keeps things moving and focused with his now familiar narration, deepening our appreciation of the film’s remarkable archival footage by pointing out elements that might otherwise go unnoticed. For Herzog, Meeting Gorbachev isn’t just a film about a man; it’s a story that explores the very soul of Russia.  RYS


Werner Herzog, Andre Singer


Svetlana Palmer, Lucki Stipetic


Michael Ellis


Richard Blanshard, Yuri Barak

Release Year


Festival Year



United States

Run Time

90 minutes


Partially subtitled