Born in the USSR: 21 Up
“I will always be Russian,” says 21-year-old Andrei, who now lives in the United States. Like all the other subjects of this documentary series, he was born in the Soviet Union. Director Sergei Miroshnishenko made Age 7 in the USSR in 1990 and and followed it up seven years later with Born in the USSR: 14 Up, for which he won an Emmy Award.
Made in 2005 and likewise modeled on Michael Apted’s famous Up series, this third film also features the protagonists being interviewed about their lives. What are their thoughts about love, religion, starting a family, the country of their birth, the society in which they live and and their outlook for the future?
Their candid responses are cleverly intercut with the answers they gave seven and 14 years earlier when—behind the Iron Curtain—their world looked very different. Newly gained freedoms bring new opportunities, but just as many risks. Some of the subjects are dealing with their situation better than others. Although the lives and dreams of these twentysomethings have taken very different paths over the years, a sense of nostalgia permeates each of their stories.