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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Red Army (2015)

This is an odd documentary about the Red Army hockey system, and a group of players who were stars for them in that system for years.  They then all went to play for hockey teams in the the United States, where it largely did not work out as they had hoped that it would, and many of them returned to work in the Russian hockey system today.

The film is at it's best juxtaposing the well orchestrated, almost ballet like skating of the Russian team of that era.  They were superb athletes who were highly trained as a team and they were a vision to watch.  But then there was the darker side of that story.  They were all taken from their families as children, they were more or less forbidden from having personal lives, and one of their coaches had sadistic tendencies, all of which juxtaposed against the beauty and artistry  is food for thought.  The other thing I really liked about this is that it demonstrated that hockey does not have to be a stick high, board bashing game,  It can be much like soccer on ice, with a little bit of that, but not enough to draw a lot of blood or make it really ugly.  This is uneven but worth watching.

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