Film, Documentaries
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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The view from the Trans-Siberian Express – snow-covered fields, winding ribbons of steel track cluttered with rusted locomotives, labyrinths of Soviet concrete – may be beautiful, but any sane viewer will be sick to death of it after 118 punishing minutes of ‘Perestroika’, a numb treatise on memory, recovery and grief by artist-filmmaker Sarah Turner. Consisting almost exclusively of extended camcorder shots – some taken in 1988, some 20 years later – overlaid with Turner’s pretentious, over-enunciated diary entries, the film is indulgent in the extreme. A shame, because when Turner peers outside her cabin – and her own headspace – to explore politics, ecology and history, she offers moments of real insight. Her photography can be stunning – as in the opening and closing views of a hazy, smouldering Lake Baikal – but it’s hard to see how ‘Perestroika’ would have been harmed by a few cuts: say about 100 minutes.

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Release date: Friday September 3 2010
Duration: 118 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Sarah Turner
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