April 12, 2015 10:00am
SilverCity Theatre B
Director: Gabe Polsky
Featuring: Scotty Bowman, Mark Deakins, Vyacheslav Fetisov
Runtime: 76 minutes
Language: English | Russian
Chicago International Film Festival: Audience Choice Award
Zurich Film Festival: International Documentary Film
“No need to be a sports fan to become enthralled with “Red Army.” The documentary held me in its grip from start to finish.”–Leonard Maltin, Maltin’s Picks
“This feature documentary is far more artful than it first lets on; often it’s downright droll.” –Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
Red Army tells the fascinating story of the Soviet hockey team in its glory years from the 1950s through the early 90s. This is a revealing and often amusing story of how politics manipulates athleticism on both sides of the pond.
The film centers on Slava Fetisov, whom, along four other well-disciplined athletes, became a national hero as one of the famed Russian Five, a beautifully coordinated squad who played as one. The team grew as a source of Soviet pride and served as an effective propaganda tool.
However, life was not all rosy. Under new coach and KGB official Viktor Tikhonov, the team became virtual prisoners, cut off from family and friends. The recruitment of Russian players by the NHL created further tensions, prompting divided loyalties. And departed players and their wives found new realities in the NHL.
The charismatic Fetisov recounts his experiences in Russia and the US over the decades. Now in his mid-50s, Fetisov is by turns stolid, soulful, ballsy, patriotic, funny, and sad. Red Army is a revelatory film that give us a profoundly human story behind the glories of athleticism and chill of politics.