One aspect of My Perestroika I found most interesting was the filmmaker’s emphasis on setting and place. There was minimal discussion on the apartment’s and living spaces that various people occupied but they were presented frankly and starkly throughout. In particular, the filmmaker’s contrasted the two teacher’s crummy apartment that could be the inside of any High Street house with their businessman classmates lounging on his posh leather sofa in his spacious and modern apartment. Simple shots like these excellently illustrated how the fall of communism had changed the material reality of different groups in varying ways. Clearly those who took advantage of the new capitalist system benefitted enormously while many others have seen much of this success pass them by. Of course they still benefit from all sorts of new freedoms, but their own personal amenities and comforts are minimally improved.
The simple and straightforward way the filmmaker went about this made it much more effective than another approach would have been. They used many shots that showed various people moving about their everyday life in their apartments (as opposed to sitting at a table and being interviewed) and this helped draw attention to and demonstrate the realities of their lives in a way an interview never could. Leaving it up to the viewer to make their own observations and draw their own conclusions made for a much more effective documentary.