Perestroika Songspiel

Project authors: Chto Delat? Olga Egorova (Tsaplya); Dmitry Vilensky; Natalia Pershina (Gliuklya); Nikolai Oleinikov
Director: Olga Egorova (Tsaplya)
Composer: Mikhail Krutikov
Screenplay: Tsaplya, Dmitry Vilensky, Gliuklya
Camera and lighting: Artem Ignatov
Sound: Sergei Knyazev
Set design: Nikolai Oleinikov, Dmitry Vilensky

Our project deals with a key episode during perestroika in the Soviet Union. The action of the film unfolds on August 21, 1991, after the victory over the restorationist coup. On this day of unprecedented popular uplift it seemed that democracy had won a final victory in our country and that the people should and would be able to build a new, just society.

How did our heroes see that society? This is the question we try to answer in our film.The film is structured like an ancient tragedy: its dramatis personae are divided into a chorus and a group of five heroes. Our heroes are key types generated by the perestroika era, each of them with a particular vision of his/her role in history: a democrat, a businessman, a revolutionary, a nationalist, and a feminist. They act and they dream. They analyze their actions, their place in society, and their vision of the country’s political path. The chorus is the incarnation of public opinion. It makes moral judgments on our heroes and it foresees their futures, as if it were gazing on the proceedings from the present day.

Our film analyzes the specific configuration of forces during this supremely important historical moment of contemporary history. It critiques political naïveté while also showing how difficult it is for people to realize their vision of the future together.The screenplay is based on our reading of documents and eyewitness accounts of the perestroika period.

Chronicles of Perestroika


a film by Dmitry Vilensky; Music: Mikhail Krutik
Running time: 16:46 minute

The film Chronicles of Perestroyka is based on the documentation of different manifestation at the time of Perestroyka from 1987 till 1991 in Petersburg. Materials are generously provided by the Saint Petersburg Studio of Documentary Films. Special thanks to all camera men who preserved these unique moments of history and to Sergey Gelver, who has saved and is taking care of these precious materials.