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Cinema for Peace Berlin
Cinema for Peace
Cinema for Peace
Lighting of the World Peace Flame
Cinema for Peace
Special Award for Opposing Anti-Semitism
Ai Weiwei Konzerthaus installation
Ai Weiwei Konzerthaus installation
You are here: Home / The Cold War Timewarp

The Cold War Timewarp

Putin's and NATO's Jurassic Park & `The Curious Case of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev`: their policies never used to be more modern than today

Hollywood/Moscow - After Brad Pitt acting in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” - a story about a man who becomes younger year by year, Leonardo DiCaprio could play Mikhail Gorbachev in a similar manner, as the visions and thoughts of the last president of the USSR appear younger and fresher year by year of Putin’s war in the Ukraine and NATO’s emerging presence at the Russian borders. 

Reagan and Gorbachev changed the world in only two years' time. Reagan held a new year's address to the people of the Soviet Union and Gorbachev simultaneously to the people of the United States of America on January 1 1988, after ending the Cold War in 1987 and signing disarmament and peace treaties, which Putin and NATO don't seem to honor anymore.

Cinema for Peace introduced Leonardo DiCaprio to president Gorbachev a few years ago. Back then, nobody thought that any film plans could relate to a new Cold War. The tension between Russia and NATO is intensifying. Putin, who once claimed Russia might join NATO, is now threatening it. His government has vowed that any attempts to enhance NATO’s self-defense will be met with “appropriate responses”. These responses could urge neighboring countries like Finland to join NATO and NATO to send more troops to the Baltic States.

It seems absurd how the world is facing terminologies of the last Cold War such as "the disturbance of strategic balance of power", as if there would still be a global fight between communism and capitalism. Especially as this happens while the world needs to unite as one if it wants to combat climate change, terrorism and nuclear threats by countries like North Korea. Someone might come to believe the current phrases are a distraction from the crisis on our hands – the crisis of the meaningfulness of NATO, the failures of the UN to protect and the ethical credibility problem of the western world on the one hand and the self-inflicted economic distress of Russia from sanctions and the low prices for gas and oil in response to the aggressive occupation of Eastern Ukraine on the other hand. The current global rhetoric seems to reflect paradigms of dinosaurs from the last millennium. This seems rather like psychological rhetoric rather than the true belief that geopolitical power can be gained in a digital world without cultural and economic borders.


Putin refers to the contracts of Reagan and Gorbachev in 1987 – and hopefully they will not be abandoned. In a normal world, the US, NATO and Russia would use and develop missile shields together against the dangers of terrorism, Iran, North Korea and others instead of threatening each other. Germany's foreign minister Steinmeier continues to try to get Russia back into the G7/8, hoping that Putin will come back to reason and stop his wars and provocations such as the aggressive maneuver movements. Attempts by Russia and NATO to re-establish dialogue have failed, close encounters between military forces occur on an almost weekly basis, and distrust is driving military buildup along borders.

Cinema for Peace participated alongside guests such as former Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin, who will draw up a new economic program for Russia, in a workshop on the 30th anniversary of glasnost and perestroika last year. It seems as if Russia and the world needs new Glasnost/openness and Perestroika/change in order to influence Gorbachev’s prediction after winning the Nobel Prize into the right direction:  "The 21st century will be either an age of total destruction of humankind or it will bring a new human renaissance."

There will be a film about Gorbachev and how he ended the Cold War. It will be produced by Cinema for Peace and Fabrica de Cine, who announced yesterday in Cannes the next Scorsese movie with Robert DeNiro. Films sometimes have an impact in real life: after Ronald Reagan saw "The Day After", he started attending the nuclear arms briefings and changed his attitude towards the "empire of evil", transformed US policy towards the USSR and found in Gorbachev the perfect partner to change the world in the 80's. 

Who will be the partners this time?

Ai Weiwei for Cinema for Peace

Ai Weiwei's 'Safe Passage' installation with life-vests from Lesbos for Cinema for Peace.


Upcoming Screenings:


August 13th 2018, at the Schikaneder Kino in Vienna / Address: Margaretenstraße 24, A - 1040 Wien