Synopsis: Top astrophysicist Sasha Greenberg has spent the past 17 years working in the United States. An invitation to speak at a Congress on Cosmology in his native Moscow brings him home for the first time to confront colleagues, and unanswered personal questions. As Russia undergoes perestroika, public and private lives are radically re-assessed and Sasha sees the social and sexual upheavals as a crisis of civilization, and a reflection of his own obsessive studies into the nature of the Universe itself.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Slava Tsukerman
Production: REF Productions
Rotten Tomatoes:
116 min

Time and space are not


In the life of every

civilization, every country,

every nation and every person

there are special places and

special points of time -

unusually important, crucial


In my life this special moment,

which I'll never forget,

happened in Moscow, Russia, in

the spring of 1992,

right after the fall of


I came back to my native town after

Moscow was in turmoil, so was I.

Allow me to introduce myself:

Alexander Greenberg.

That spring I was turning 50 -

time to gather stones.

And it just so happened that at

an International Congress on the

"structure of the universe"

was taking place in Moscow at

the moment.

I am an astrophysicist, so are

most of the people important for me.

My entire tiny little world was

getting together in the city of

my youth.

So I've decided to come to the

city to face my past

and to reevaluate my life.

At the point it seemed to be a

sound idea.

I was eager to reevaluate.

Reevaluate everything.

Not only my own life but also

life of all the other beings

populating our planet.

After lunch we will begin our

regular sessions, but right now,

before we take a break, we would

like to show you a short film.

This film is not a scientific


but it does include some footage

of our space research,

as well as some visual


abstracted from the works of

numerous astrophysicists.

May we have the shades drawn,


Let me introduce to you the main

characters of our story.

That woman who keeps looking my

way is Helen.

She is my wife. Or, if you

prefer, ex-wife.

In any event, she is always

threatening to leave me.

I need a life. I need a real

life before I am too old.

What's so bad about our life?

You call this a life? Right!

And sometimes she does leave,

for a time.

But it looks like she still

cares for me.

My drinking seems to worry her.

Well, she had never seen me

drinking so much before.

The creator of the film you are

about to see,

Jill Stratton, is with us today.

Do you see the beautiful lady

standing by the camera?

That is miss Stratton herself.

"The beautiful lady standing by

the camera" is my lover, Jill.

Not that we're really lovers.

Not now, anyway.

Sasha, what's the matter? I

don't understand.

Don't you?

And that is Natasha. In a way,

she is also my lover. Ex.

Go. Leave Russia. Your place is

out there.

What about you?

What about me?

Even though we are very old friends,

our intimate relationship was


As for the past seventeen years,

we not only haven't seen each other,

but have not even corresponded.

But I didn't correspond with

anyone in Russia.

While the room is being engulfed

by darkness,

I would like to read a brief

passage from John Milton's

"Paradise Lost".

In this passage, the angel Raphael

is speaking to Adam and Eve.

The imposing gentleman at the podium,

is my professor, Doctor Gross.

I have not seen Henrich Gross

for the past 17 years either.

"...To ask or search I blame

thee not;

for Heaven Is as the Book of God

before thee set,

Wherein to read his wondrous

works, and learn His seasons,

hours, or days, or months, or


the rest from Man or Angel the

great Architect

Did wisely to conceal, to move

His laughter at their quaint

opinions wide Hereafter,

when they come to model Heaven,

And calculate the stars."

I remember one of my last

meetings with Gross

before I left Russia.

Continue your cosmological

research for God, and make the

bomb - for Caesar.

Well for the last seventeen years

both of us each in the country

of his choice

kept calculating the stars for

God and building bombs for the

Caesars of our choice.

In the past two decades,

a microscopic flash of time,

we have been able to reveal so

many secrets of the Great Architect

that we cannot look at footage

reflecting the results

of this change without utter


It is debatable how long the

Great Architect can continue to

conceal his secrets.

If we may remind him of the old

"He who laughs last

laughs longest."

As in the old days Gross was

challenging God himself.

I must admit, I was surprised to

see how little he has changed.

Perhaps he has discovered the

fountain of youth.

The city beyond the windows is

my city,

although until the commencement

of our story

I have been away from it for

seventeen years.

I was born in this city, and I

lived here for many years.

It is a living entity to me, so

I hope you are not surprised

that I introduce it as one of

the characters of this film.

And this is my planet - Earth.

On the grand astrophysical


a place just as small and cozy

as one's home town.

Earth is also one of our


Ah, Home, Sweet Home. One does

not choose one's homeland.

Our Universe. The way we "model

heaven and calculate the stars"

on our computers.

I have spent my whole life

trying to understand what limits

there are,

and what lies beyond them.

Striving to break through the

Iron Curtain hung by God Himself.

Why did you walk out on my film?

I have seen it many times


Why did you walk out on your own


I have seen it too. You're

trying to escape so you can keep

getting drunk?

You promised to come help me at

the studio.

But you're shooting.

I'm done for the day. Wait here,

I'll tell Lynn to pack up alone.

Sasha? Sasha Greenberg?

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Slava Tsukerman

Vladislav "Slava" Tsukerman (Russian: Сла́ва (Владисла́в Менделе́вич) Цукерма́н) is a Russian film director of Jewish origin. He was born in the Soviet Union and emigrated in 1973 with his wife Nina Kerova to Israel. In 1976 he moved to New York City. He is best known for producing, directing, and writing the screenplay for the 1982 cult film Liquid Sky. He also directed the 2004 documentary Stalin's Wife (about Nadezhda Alliluyeva) and the 2008 film Perestroika.In 2014 in an interview with The Awl it was confirmed by Tsukerman, a Liquid Sky sequel, Liquid Sky 2, was in the works. Lead actress Anne Carlisle would be returning in the sequel in the role of Margaret. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Perestroika" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Jun 2024. <>.

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