Perestroika means reconstruction. The metaphor coined by Gorbachev for the modernization of society is shown here with the complicated sale of a former Soviet communal flat. Every room of the desolate living space belongs to someone else - a single mother, a family of four, a bachelor, and a woman about to retire. Thus, many individual interests have to be accomodated. The sternly friendly real estate agents are happy to help - not out of altruism, but because capital must be enlarged, profit increased. 52' version also available (Titled: "Russian Monopoly")
The film shows the life of two families, brought together by an emergency. In a German family, grandma becomes a nursing case. Somewhere in Eastern Europe, a mother leaves her family in order to help the German. A film about the economies of families in the Western and Eastern parts of Europe. Carefully, from both sides, the film delves into the subtle texture of everyday drama, brought on by the situation: the daughter‘s irritated look to her mother, who allows herself to be stroked by the foreign woman; the helpless anger over a bland Polish meal because the ingredients are missing; the unintentional comedy of co-existence with two different languages. It is a trade, but no easy trade. Money and feelings cannot be swapped unopposed. While the German family ‘imports‘ a missing family member and regains some balance, the Polish family loses its centre: the mother.