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Turner, Sarah E. (2009) Perestroika. Arts council of England, Film London Film, 118 mins: hdcam / Blu-Ray / DVD. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:31932)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.


Perestroika is a ghost story that exploits technologies of memory in order to explore what we forget and how we remember. Part psycho geography, part dream, imagery is limited to views from the window of the Trans Siberian train shot in 1987-88, and then again in 2007-8. The re-enactment of the journey is a memory work, a re-enactment of the past in the present through the process of filming. But the return journey is haunted by the voices of two dead friends that dominate the soundscape of the ‘archive’ footage. The film culminates at the equally haunting expanse of lake Baikal.

Perestroika is both environmental allegory & an allegory of how our identities are constructed through others. When that relational foundation breaks down – we are driven to madness. The structure is a road movie or a train (of thought) movie, a psychodrama that becomes a psychological nightmare….

- Perestroika explores technologies of memory, temporality and loss. Or, the relationship between time, photography and death. It explores ideas of what is ‘truth’, ‘fact’, ‘evidence’ and ‘record’, and in doing so, it plays with some of the ‘facts’ of my life. Therefore, it is a documentary which is autobiographical, a fiction which is also an essay, but mostly it’s a poem, which is an extended meditation on the nature of affect or the ability of the image to represent experience.

- Perestroika is a documentary that deploys the truths of fiction in order to explicitly discuss ideas of how experience is framed: through memory, which is a set of stories we tell of ourselves and others. Or, how our stories of ourselves are constructed through others experience of us, or, how the other holds our stories. Or, therefore, how we are framed through a relational narrative interplay.

What happens to the story of self when our relational narratives break down?

- Is film a process of remembering or forgetting?

- Does photography as an act, actually create experiences rather than record them?

Item Type: Visual media
Subjects: N Visual Arts > N Visual arts (General). For photography, see TR
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Depositing User: Sarah Turner
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2012 11:14 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:09 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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