Perestroika

Sarah Turner

Russian Federation, United Kingdom, 2009
118 minutes, Colour, Stereo, 16:9
Original format: HD video
Available formats: HD Video / / / HD Digital file

A poetic essay about loss and memory: twenty years after the death of a dear friend, the filmmaker re-enacts a journey on the Trans-Siberian train to investigate how ghostly images of the past invade the present. Both psycho-geography and emotional revelation, the film blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction.Perestroika is an autobiographical documentary, a fiction that’s also an essay and an extended poetic meditation on the ability of the image to represent experience. Sarah Turner’s film is a ghost story that explores what we forget and how we remember. The stunning imagery comes solely from the window of the Trans-Siberian train, shot first in 1987-8 and then again in 2007-8. The re-enactment of the journey is a memory work, a re-enactment of the past in the present through the process of filming. But the return journey is haunted by the voices of two dead friends that dominate the soundscape of the ‘archive’ footage. The film culminates at the haunting expanse of Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world.