Out of the Present (Russian DVD)
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Man's place in the universe has never been contemplated quite the way it is in this singular documentary. Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev's ten months on board the Mir space station are captured in footage shot during his record-breaking visit to the heavens, which is contrasted with images of the collapse of the Soviet Union from 1991 to 1992. While Krikalev was away from Earth, the empire that sent him to space ceased to exist, his hometown of Leningrad became St. Petersburg, and the nature of global affairs underwent massive change. "Yet, the extraterrestrial shots and scenes have the effect of somehow dwarfing and distancing these historic events, however momentous. Galaxies, like grains of sand, spread across the sky, and even the epochal sights of the collapse of the Soviet state shrivel in comparison" (Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune). In Russian with English subtitles.