Spinning Boris

Released 2004


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Movie Summary

Roger Spottiswoode
If it hadn't really happened, no one would believe it. This is the improbable but true story of three Americans hired against all odds to convince the Russian people to denounce Communism. This is George Gorton, calling from Moscow, Russia. June 16, 1996. The reason I'm calling is, I may be killed today, or disappear. In which case I want the police to know what happened. The call is frantic--and dead serious. Sometimes there's a solid reason for being paranoid. For American campaign manager, George Gorton, it begins eight months earlier when he and his partners, Joe Shumate and Dick Dresner, receive an irresistible opportunity to spearhead the first free election in Russian history--and bring Boris Yeltsin to victory. Up for the challenge, they're transported to Russia and given total VIP treatment. However, this once-in-a-lifetime gig is already arousing suspicions among Gorton, Shumate, and Dresner because it comes with the most curious--and somewhat impossible--caveats. First, they must relinquish their passports and keep their jobs a matter of utmost secrecy. They must always remain inconspicuous, never draw crowds, indulge in no obvious campaign functions, and above all, never expect to meet Yeltsin himself. What are they being protected from? Who's being protected from them? These questions--steeped in growing paranoia--are secondary to performing their duty without fail. With the guarded help of Yeltsin's daughter, Tatiana, they must repackage her father into a saleable political commodity and prevent Russia from turning Red. Their eventual last hope is an American tradition: retool Yeltzin's image by running a negative campaign against his opponent, play on the working-class fears of civil unrest, war, and bloodshed. But as the election countdown unfolds, so does Gorton's fear that one man's political victory--or defeat--could become a very personal matter of life and death.moreless


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Comedy, Drama