This introductory chapter explains the volume’s remit: to re-assess the cinema of the perestroika era and its key symbols from the perspective and context of 30 years later. At the time, perestroika was hailed for bringing to the forefront underground art and banned works, which increased its popularity in the West. This volume questions the extent to which the changes during perestroika were radical and to what extent they continued trends that had begun before it. The relationship between reality and screen plays an important role in this discussion, necessitating an analysis of aesthetic shifts and re-visioning genre and styles, as well as character profiles in cinema during and after the period that is seen as a dividing line between Soviet and Russian cinema. Ultimately, we challenge the notion that perestroika represented a paradigm shift and dwell on aspects that represent a continuous development of trends already in circulation.