Robert Redford opened an exhibition of his movies in Moscow by telling an audience that films are a powerful way to bridge differences of opinion and that he supports glasnost in Soviet cinema.
Glasnost, the Russian word for openness, is a key term in Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of reforms in certain areas."Obviously this is a very important time for our countries," Redford told the audience at Moscow's Oktyabr theater on Tuesday, the exhibition's opening day. "And I believe that film is a very powerful tool to translate differences of opinion and points of common interest.
"And for that reason, I support glasnost in both American film and Soviet cinema."
President Reagan and Gorbachev are to meet May 29 in Moscow, their second summit since last December, when the two signed a treaty scrapping intermediate-range nuclear missiles.
Redford, 51, is most widely known among Soviets for his role in "Three Days of the Condor," a 15-year-old spy movie that continues to be shown in Soviet theaters.
He came to Moscow after spending three days in Leningrad where the eight-film exhibition opened.
"The Milagro Beanfield War" which Redford directed but in which he does not appear, and "All the President's Men" were the opening-night films, shown at two different theaters in Moscow.
Redford's stay in Moscow, which ends Friday, will include a meeting on ecology, a cause the actor-director has supported for years.
He also plans to moderate a workshop on global warming caused by the depletion of the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere. The workshop is the effort of the Institute for Resource Management, which Redford founded, and the Soviet Academy of Sciences.