My Perestroika's long road

Director Robin Hessman said the filming of her doc My Perestroika was made up of many victories and defeats.  The doc follows the lives of five Russian schoolmates brought up before and after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Her original plan of a 3 month shoot stretched to over 2 1/2 years as problems with producers and funding mounted.  Yet all the problems contributed something wonderful, says Hessman, including key moments in the film.

"During those years we got home movies of Brezhnev's funeral and shot during the election of 2008," said Hessman. "For all the filmmakers that think it's taking longer, remember they lead to great gifts"

At the vodka lunch, thrown in an art gallery showing Russian Impressionism, Hessman passed out scarves to partiers eating beef stroganoff and downing neat glasses of ice cold vodka. "For the young communist pioneer you must know how to wear the red scarf," she said, trying the traditional knot around everyone's necks.

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