Movie Reviews

Red Army Flawlessly Blends Hockey and History

Documentary | Biography | History  Director: Gabe Polsky Writer: Gabe Polsky (story) Stars: Viacheslav Fetisov, Scotty Bowman, Anatoli Karpov

Documentary | Biography | History

Director: Gabe Polsky

Writer: Gabe Polsky (story)

Stars: Viacheslav Fetisov, Scotty Bowman, Anatoli Karpov

From Oscar (R) nominated and Emmy award-winning filmmakers, RED ARMY is a feature documentary about the Soviet Union and the most successful dynasty in sports history: the Red Army hockey team. Told from the perspective of its captain Slava Fetisov, the story portrays his transformation from national hero to political enemy. From the USSR to Russia, the film examines how sport mirrors social and cultural movements and parallels the rise and fall of the Red Army team with the Soviet Union. RED ARMY is an inspiring story about the Cold War played out on the ice rink, and a man who stood up to a powerful system and paved the way for change for generations of Russians. (C) Sony Classics

 

 

Taking on the North American fall film festival circuit by storm after a quiet debut at Cannes and robbed of a Best Documentary Oscar nomination, Red Army is the perfect documentary about hockey which blends the beloved sport with Geo-political conflict and Russian history. Splashing archival footage with propaganda art, we get a sense of the time and experience the importance of the emotional implications. With concise editing and engaging human element, it is nearly a flawless documentary viewing experience.

Red Army is the perfect documentary about hockey which blends the beloved sport with geo-political conflict and Russian history.

Red Army is the perfect documentary about hockey which blends the beloved sport with Geo-political conflict and Russian history.

 

What really makes Red Army work as a documentary is that it focuses on the hopes of a nation rooting for a team. We never see the why in a movie, but this is the exception. Numerous societies root for teams within a variety of sports.  The Soviet Union had so much on the line and put a lot of their culture into this team. Red Army is so well done, one doesn’t have to like those subject matters in order to fall under this crowd pleasing spell (though it obviously helps). Audiences are in for a treat watching a fascinating story of a team and a behind the scenes look at important individual contributions!

 

Sports-focused documentaries this exceptional makes me wish that networks like ESPN show  high quality non-fiction films to sports fans who are waiting to discover this instead of indulging in the 24 hour news cycle of gossip from famous players. This is that good! Like the successful CNN Films, ESPN should look to acquire hot festival titles to air on their network. Red Army would be perfect for them (and the History Channel as well or even specific niche college courses). Finally, let me point out that Sony Pictures Classics designed a great poster for the movie. This is one of their best I’ve seen in a very long time. Take a look:

 

MV5BMjIxMDYwMTg3M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDQ1NzQ0MzE@._V1_SX214_AL_

One of the best posters Sony Pictures Classics created in a VERY long time. Kudos to your publicity/marketing department.

 

I rate Red Army an 8.5 out of 10.

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