New documentary 'Red Army' tells the story of Soviet-era hockey players

Saturday September 20th, 2014

Any sports fan, regardless of age or background, knows the story of the 1980 USA hockey team, the unheralded rag-tag group of collegians that took down the the Big Red Russian Machine en route to a gold medal at Lake Placid.

What many of us aren't so familiar with is the tale of the Central Red Army squad and what life was like for those players in Cold War-era Russia. Early in 2015 -- some 35 years after Lake Placid and 24 years after the collapse of the USSR -- a new documentary will finally give us the other side of the story.

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Extra Mustard
A conversation with Gabe Polsky, director of the new hockey documentary Red Army

Red Army, told through the eyes of former Russian captain and ex-NHLer Slava Fetisov, gives a glimpse into what is was like to grow up in the Soviet Republic and how hockey was an integral part of everyday life -- and what it was like to leave.

From the Official Red Army Movie YouTube page,

The official trailer for “RED ARMY,” a Sony Classics film, directed by Gabe Polsky and from Executive Producers Werner Herzog and Jerry Weintraub, 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. 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 a man who stood up to a powerful system and paved the way for change for generations of Russians.  

The film, which already has several glowing reviews, hears from several notable hockey names in addition to Fetisov, including Scotty Bowman, Alexei Kasatonov and Vladislav Tretiak, and will be released on January 22, 2015. More information can be found here.

Jay Greenberg/SI
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