Mikhail Gorbachev’s life and legacy viewed from the lens of Hollywood

Mumbai, Aug 31 (IANS) Mikhail Gorbachev, Russian Nobel Peace laureate and the final leader of the Soviet Union who ended the US-Cold War, passed away after prolonged illness at the Central Clinical Hospital in Moscow. He was 91.
Considered as one of the greatest leaders in the modern world, Gorbachev has been portrayed in many films and has characters inspired by him. Here are a few films, documentaries and series that have immortalised Gorbachev on celluloid:
‘The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad’
The 1988 American crime comedy film released at a time when the US and the USSR were still in tussle during the Cold War which eventually ended in 1991. The film is based on the character portrayed by Leslie Nielsen in the television series ‘Police Squad!’, and is a continuation of the latter.
The film makes a direct reference to Gorbachev and paints him as one of American greatest enemies placing him the same league as some of the nasty dictators like the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, Cuban revolutionary turned politician Fidel Castro, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini and Palestinian leaderYasser Arafat, who eventually sought to end the Israel-Palestine conflict.
‘Rocky IV’
The Sylvester Stallone-starrer fourth film from the ‘Rocky’ franchise also has a reference to the late comrade as the Soviet general secretary, who assumed the office right after Konstantin Chernenko. In an uncredited performance actor David Lloyd Austin portrays Gorbachev in the final match sequence when Russian boxer Drago is introduced to the crown with an elaborate patriotic ceremony and the Politburo in attendance.
‘Yeltsin. Three Days in August’
The Russian political drama directed by Alexander Mokhov and centres the 1991 Soviet coup attempt (August Coup) when the hardliners of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party tried to forcibly seize control of the country from Gorbachev, in a failed attempt.
‘Meeting Gorbachev: Next we have the documentary’
Directed by the mighty Werner Herzog and Andre Singer, the film, based on Gorbachev, features three interviews between Herzog and Gorbachev, conducted over the span of six months.
The Craig Mazin created miniseries is often regarded as one of the best series, at one point sat atop the IMDb top 250 shows effectively leaving behind the likes of greatest shows like ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘The Wire’ and ‘The Sopranos’. Gorbachev’s character appears in the second episode when he is briefed by inorganic chemist Valery Legasov that the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl is much more serious than initially reported.

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