Werner Herzog shares a co-directing credit with British documentarist André Singer here, but really this is Herzog’s show, a self-consciously grand head-to-head between the great director and the great historical figure. Despite the film’s obvious interest, it is a bit conceited and stately, a little like Wim Wenders’ movie about Pope Francis, though without the sycophancy. Or almost. This is Herzog’s encounter with Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Ussr president and the last great figure from the end of the cold war, now that Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan are no longer with us.
The last time Gorbachev appeared on screen was in the recent terrifying TV drama Chernobyl, played by the Swedish actor David Dencik, as an enigmatic, enclosed figure, and perhaps many of the audience assumed