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POV’s ‘My Perestroika’ Wins a Peabody!

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Congratulations to filmmaker Robin Hessman, whose film My Perestroika has just won a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award!

View the complete list of winners, including StoryCorps 9/11, at peabody.uga.edu.

My Perestroika, which aired on POV in 2011, takes a look at the last generation of Soviet children searching for their places in today’s Moscow, through the lives of five classmates. The film was also selected to be showcased as part of the The Economist Film Project, in collaboration with PBS NewsHour, for its unique and personal touch to telling the story of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Check out the trailer for the film:

In an interview with POV, filmmaker Robin Hessman explained why she originally set out to find classmates to be the subjects of her film.

I was speaking to dozens and dozens of 30-somethings and thinking about where to begin. I thought that focusing on people who were in the same class at school would be a good framework, because in the Soviet Union, and in Russia today for the most part, people are with the same 20 or 25 people from first grade through the end of high school. That’s an enormous amount of shared experience.

My approach was to find a person who should definitely be in the film, and then meet his or her classmates. I started thinking about history teachers, because a history teacher of this generation would have been taught a certain kind of history in the Soviet Union and today is teaching children for whom the Soviet Union is more like ancient Rome than a country where their parents grew up. I started talking to history teachers without knowing yet how they would fit in to the film.

Watch the entire interview:

The Peabody Awards ceremony will take place on Monday, May 21, 2012, in New York City.

POV Staff
POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.
  • Karen Schiff

    Fantastic and fascinating interview — I can’t wait to see the film!