Critically acclaimed German filmmaker Werner Herzog and Emmy Award-winning director André Singer’s latest feature-length documentary Meeting Gorbachev will open the 61st edition of DOK Leipzig on Oct. 29.
The film, which celebrates its European premiere at the Leipzig-set festival, paints a portrait of Mikhail Gorbachev, the former President of the Soviet Union who brought about changes to end the Cold War, toppled the USSR, and enabled the reunification of Germany. In the documentary, Herzog and Gorbachev engage in an intense conversation about the past and the winding path of history.
The film is a Spring Films and Werner Herzog Film production and is presented by A+E Network’s History Films, in association with MDR and Arte.
Both Herzog and Singer will be on hand for the film’s screening. Herzog, meanwhile, will also be present for a special talk in which he will answer audience questions about his latest film and his illustrious career.
DOK Leipzig 2018 will host the opening night film on Oct. 29 at CineStar 8, with a simulcast live stream shown in CineStar 6. In addition, a free public screening of Meeting Gorbachev will take place inside the eastern hall of Leipzig’s central railway station.
“We are delighted to be able to welcome Werner Herzog to DOK Leipzig for the first time,” said festival director Leena Pasanen in a statement. “He is an essential documentarian of our age – and with his new film he has dared to tackle a slice of recent history that is of enormous importance for Germany and Leipzig.”
“We couldn’t have found a more fitting opening film than Meeting Gorbachev,” added festival programmer Ralph Eue. “It lends virtually global resonance to this year’s festival motto ‘Demand the Impossible!’ and stands as an equally nuanced and inspiring reflection on the post-Soviet period, that is to say on the history of a time so very recently passed.”