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‘My Perestroika’ Premieres on PBS’ POV 28 June

I was never one of those creative types who imagines themselves writers or artists,” says Andrei Yevgrafov, his bluetooth earpiece glowing. “And I remember when I was a little kid, my aunt had a dog and I would march around with the dog and pretend I was the Border Patrol.” Andrei sounds more perplexed than nostalgic. Over an old snapshot of his boy self with a toy gun, he sighs, “My relatives love telling that story.” It is a great story, considering that he’s now something of a raging capitalist, the wealthy owner of a Russian clothing store chain, Café Coton, specializing in French men’s shirts. “There isn’t any real competition here,” Andrei notes. His is one of five classmates’ stories in Robin Hessman’s terrific documentary, My Perestroika. Each recalls what it was like to be born into Soviet-era Communism, and now contemplates middle age in Russia’s new market economy. Through thoughtful and absorbing interviews, the film shows the perpetual disjunctions between official history and lived experiences.

Join a live chat with Hessman on 29 June at 2pm.

See PopMattersreview.

RATING 8 / 10
PopMatters