Perestroika: Slava Tsukerman (Liquid Sky) Film, Mixing Fiction, Documentary and Autobiographical

Writer-director Slava Tsukerman made the cult classic “Liquid Sky,” one of the most successful indies of all time. Now Tsukerman has turned his sights on his native Russia during times of reconstruction in “Perestroika.”


The film will open its theatrical engagement in New York at the Cinema Village on April 17, 2009.

Taking place in Moscow, 1992, Tsukerman’s “Perestroika,” represents a unique mixture of fiction, documentary and autobiographical elements.  Sam Robards plays Sasha Greenberg, a celebrated astrophysicist returns to Moscow after 17 years of exile. Formerly reviled as a traitor, he is welcomed back as a hero during the period of “Perestroika” (restructuring) only to realize that everything has been turned upside down.

Invited by his wily but supportive mentor Gross (F. Murray Abraham), an American defector to Russia who helped the Soviets develop nuclear weapons, to speak about the structure of the universe, Sasha’s own world seems to crumble around him. His marriage to an American scientist (Ally Sheedy) has failed, his relationship with a beautiful filmmaker has reached an impasse, a colleague and former lover all but drags him back to her bed and he suspects that a fiery young girl may be his daughter. While old enemies welcome him home, painful memories of anti-Semitism return to haunt him. Expected to deliver his theory about the coherence of the universe, Sasha is overwhelmed by his personal chaos and the suspicion that man is the bane of a world in peril.

Slava Tsukerman
is best known as the writer/director/producer of the cult classic “Liquid Sky,” which was released in 1982. Praised by critics, it broke box office records around the country.  He has directed 43 films of various genres and has received 13 awards from international film festivals. Tsukerman made his debut at the age of 21 with “I Believe in Spring,” the first independently made short in the history of the Soviet Union. The film won first prize in the Moscow Amateur Film Fest and went on to take a prize at the international festival in Montreal.  Other films, “Great Bells,” “The Heat In Cold Numbers,” “Professor Alexandrov’s Discovery,” and “Vaudeville on Vaudeville” won awards in the Soviet film industry.

His documentary, “Once Upon a Time There Were Russians in Jerusalem,” made for Israeli TV, was a first prize-winner at the Tenth Hollywood Festival of World Television.

In 2001, Tsukerman directed “Poor Liza,” in Russia, starring Ben Gazazrra and Lee Grant, which won two festival prizes in Russia.  In 2005, he released his feature length documentary, “Stalin’s Wife,” to widespread critical acclaim.


“Perestroika,” written & directed by Slava Tsukerman, produced by Nina V. Kerova, co-produced by Daniel M. Cohen and executive produced by Robert E. Field, stars F. Murray Abraham, Sam Robards, Oksana Stashenko, Jicky Schnee, Maria Andreyeva and Ally Sheedy.  The film, presented by REF Productions, is in English, runs 97 minutes and is unrated.