By Shane P. Donnelly
On Monday night, the department of Modern Languages sponsored filmmaker Gulya Mirzoeva’s debut of her new documentary, “Mikhail Gorbachev, Confidential,” as part of the Beloit College Asian Studies Colloquium. The documentary examines the life of former Head of State of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, as he offers personal commentary on his political career, the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the current state of Russian politics. Gorbachev also reflects on aspects of his personal life, such as his family’s history and his relationship with his late wife, Raisa. The documentary is not narrated and Director Mirzoeva relies on the use of interview and media footage to portray an honest and raw Gorbachev going through serious self-reflection. The director’s voice feels muted, and viewers must develop their own interpretation of Gorbachev’s personal sense of legacy. In its essence, “Mikhail Gorbachev, Confidential” comes across as detailed introspection of an important international figure whose legacy continues to grow, as Gorbachev remains an active figure in international politics.