My Perestroika

PBS Premiere: June 28, 2011Check the broadcast schedule »

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Learn About Life in the Former Soviet Union

The portrayal of life in the Soviet Union through the characters of My Perestroika sometimes challenges the images and lessons supplied in American history textbooks. Learn more about life in the former Soviet Union, the Cold War and the lives of Russian immigrants in your own communities.

Compare experiences of people in the film with your school district's textbook descriptions of Russia. Work with teachers and school officials to ensure that the information that students receive about Russia is accurate and complete.

Convene a study group on the history of propaganda, including U.S. and Soviet propaganda used during the Cold War, as well as current examples of propaganda. You might begin your study by looking at the examples available at Russian Archives Online. Consider creating a public display of propaganda art with commentary by members of your study group.

Conduct oral history interviews with immigrants who lived in the former Soviet Union (including Russia and now independent nations such as Ukraine, Latvia and others) and find ways to share the interviews with your community. Compare the immigrants' recollections with the accounts of the people featured in the film.