5 December 2019 | random-70778
Is ""Meeting Gorbachev" s bad as "Bad Lieutenant II" or "Salt and Fire"? No. But it is not near the level of Aguirre, Fitzcaraldo, or Cave
Rating of Subject (Gorbachov): 5
Rating of Herzog's lifetime body of work: 9/10
This hagiographic film: 3 stars at best
The simple fact is that in terms of the tearing off of the USSR control of over 100 million subjugated people in eastern Europe, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Lech Walesa were the major players, and Gorbachev was more or less swept along by events rather than participating steering them. Even historians on the left in Poland, Hungary, the Czech republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukrainian,e, Belorussian, the Baltic countries even Germany widely acknowledge this.
Gorbachev ought to have been asked by Herzog if he would acknowledge the debt he and the citizens of former Soviet Russia have to the brave people in Lithuania, Ukraine, Poland, etc.
Don't get me wrong. Herzog is a genius. After Greenaway, he is my favorite. The imagery, the laconic way he narrates the surreal in his documentaries, and his crafting of his fictional work are without par. But he fails when he gets political. And he is at the very least, proffering up survivor bias, because, well, Gorbachev is alive and can spin his role, while Reagan and Thatcher are dead. Gorbachev makes so many frankly untrue statements unchallenged in "Meeting" that it is stunning.
Is meeting Gorbachev as bad as "Bad Lieutenant II" or "Salt and Fire"? NO. Anywhere near the level of Aguirre, Fitzcaraldo, Cave? also an emphatic: NO.