Thirty years ago, Europe was awash with optimism as the Cold War was coming to an end and the Berlin Wall fell. So what happened to those high hopes of peace and prosperity?

Last November, celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall were overshadowed by a palpable sense of unease in parts of Europe.

To be sure, the events of those weeks through late 1989 and beyond were hugely significant - iconic moments in history that came to symbolise the end of the Cold War and the decades of nuclear-tipped standoff between West and East.

Many Europeans felt that things could never be the same again, that their continent had seen the back of communist totalitarianism and repression and that a new age of peace and prosperity and democracy beckoned.

But in the years since, some of those dreams have turned sour amid rising xenophobia and nationalism in nations that once lay behind the Iron Curtain. Heady enthusiasm has been replaced by growing uncertainty, the world has somehow become darker and more menacing than many ever believed it would be. Things, in other words, didn't quite turn out as the optimists expected.

There are myriad reasons for this - and of course, many of them are linked to the wider global political and economic concerns that have emerged over the last 30 years - but at least some of what troubles the continent now can be traced back to the scars left by the Cold War and the way countries handled the transition away from the authoritarianism that suffocated parts of Eastern Europe for so long.

For this two-part special report, People & Power sent filmmakers Glenn Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna to find out more.

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