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1 hrs, 25 mins
Slava Fetisov, Vladislav Tretiak, Scotty Bowman, Vladimir Pozner
Gabe Polsky

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COMING SOON / Minneapolis

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This wonderfully entertaining documentary by Gabe Polsky shows the waning days of the Soviet Union and the most successful dynasty in sports history, the Red Army ice hockey team. Potent patriotic symbols, the hockey stars were idolized nationally but forced to train in a restricted camp for 11 months of the year, missing their families. Brilliant coach Anatoli Tarasov honed them to a skill unmatched in the world, but he ran afoul of politics and was replaced by a KGB-approved hack. As the Soviet Union wavered on the brink of breaking up, government control on the hockey stars eased enough to allow them to consider eagerly-offered lucrative contracts with the NHL—as long as the government could keep 90% of the big bucks. Told from the perspective of the team's charismatic captain, Slava Fetisov, a loyal team player for decades who eventually took a stand opposing the powerful forces of the government, it is a stirring tale of friendships, betrayals and compelling personal dramas. Full of humor, action, human appeal and historical insight, Red Army gives a uniquely revealing look inside the Cold War as the Soviet empire began to disintegrate. Winner, Audience Choice Award, Chicago International Film Festival 2014. Executive produced by Werner Herzog and Jerry Weintraub.

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