Let’s go back to the last day of 1999 when the former head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, ascended to the Russian presidency. The renowned documentarist’s new movie presents other protagonists as well, including Mikhail Gorbachev, but also Boris Yeltsin, who chose the ambitious 47-year-old politician as his successor. Ukrainian-born Vitaly Mansky based his film on witness accounts of the events that happened in the years following that fateful day in December, perhaps the most important moment in 21st century Russian history. The director rounds these out with his own fascinating perspective and with the unique, long-standing experience of a man whom only a movie camera separated from the upper echelons of power. (author Karel Och)
Switzerland, Latvia, Czechia
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