85 minutes, U.S.A.-Russia, 2014, Digital

This film was released on Friday 9th October 2015 and is no longer screening. 


The best documentaries can spark interest in the most unlikely of subjects, and such is the case with Gabe Polsky’s Red Army. By turns exciting and insightful, this exploration of Russia’s national ice-hockey team in their heyday before and after perestroika, deserves to take its place alongside Hoop Dreams, Murderball and Senna as one of the most compelling sport docs of recent years.

Focusing on the reminiscences of long-time team captain Viacheslav Fetisov, an amusingly blunt interviewee (whose current position as Putin’s sports minister might raise an eyebrow), the film explores the team’s domestic success before broadening its scope to encompass Cold War relations with the U.S.A. as they find success stateside, where they are something of an exotic novelty to the American audience.

The Russian players’ graceful, balletic interplay is tellingly contrasted with the more brutal style of their American counterparts. (Notes by David O’Mahony.)

This film will be up for discussion in our FREE monthly film club, The Critical Take, on October 27th at 18.30. Simply book your FREE seat by contacting the IFI Box Office on 01 679 3477 or emailing boxoffice@irishfilm.ie (given that events can sell out, please note that your emailed booking requests must be confirmed by reply email from the Box Office in order to be considered valid).

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