Added to my films
Robin Hessman's documentary about changes in modern Russia focuses on five adults who grew up together as classmates and who now represent the last generation of Soviets growing up behind the Iron Curtain. Using a simple yet effective interviewing style, Hessman allows her subjects to freely reminisce about their Communist-influenced youth during the highly conformist 1970's, through the USSR collapse of the 1990's, right up to the ambiguous conditions today. Here we meet a couple of married schoolteachers, a highly successful clothing retailer, a former punk rocker, and a woman who, once considered to be the prettiest girl in school, now lives a humble existence below the poverty level. Their stories demonstrate just how the history of a country may sometimes be best defined by the lives of its average people rather than the machinations of its powerful leaders.