Perestroika constitutes a remarkable chapter in the history of Russian cinematography. It witnessed a weakening of ideological influence while still retaining elements of the Soviet film school. This period allowed for the exploration of previously taboo topics in cinema, such as organized crime, drug addiction, and prostitution
The cinema of Perestroika comprised both newly produced films and older ones that were previously banned by censorship. Film critics often describe these films as having long awaited their release to the audience. Consequently, the plots of these films sparked public debate during perestroika, with the main question being the direction of Soviet cinema in the future. Even today, these discussions can be observed in the pages of the magazine 'The Soviet Screen.'
However, the era of perestroika saw the rise of a phenomenon known as "Cooperative Cinema," where films were privately financed. In some cases, this financing involved illicit or criminal funds. Frequently, though not always, films produced in this manner were lacking in quality and could now be considered as examples of the cinematic trash from the Perestroika era. Unfortunately, the funding for cooperative films was often terminated prematurely, resulting in many films remaining unfinished.
In general, the cinema of Perestroika can be characterized as socially conscious, eccentric, erotic, melancholic, yet genuinely captivating and thought-provoking.