By Sarah Turner
Format: PAL DVD and Bluray
Publisher: LUX, London
Publication date: 2014
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.
Perestroika: Reconstructed re-mixes and extends Perestroika, into two sequences. Sequence one constitutes the 2009 version of the film, whilst the second sequence constructs a new framing narrative that reinterprets and reconfigures both the imagery and the experience of the first.
Film of the Month, Sight and Sound, October 2010
"A ruined hotel. A lake as big as a sea. And a death, never explained but by now as momentous to us, and as engulfing, as a black hole. What begins as a travelogue with philosophical trimmings turns into a puzzle picture worthy of Resnais or Antonioni."
Nigel Andrews, Financial Times
"Elegantly photographed, sound- designed to precise and goose- bumping effect, this is a rare and haunting work of memory-gleaning."
Sukdev Sandhu, The Telegraph
"Conceived with intelligence and arresting intensity"
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian Top 10 of 2010: documentary
2 Disc Dual Format DVD/Blu Ray release
DVD 9 PAL Region 0/ BD 50 Region 0
Perestroika, 2009, 118 mins
Perestroika: Reconstructed 2013, 178 mins
Plus new essays by Elizabeth Cowie, Sophie Mayer, and Paul Newland
Published by LUX
Price £22 individuals / £60 institutions