Red Army

Synopsis: 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.
Director(s): Gabe Polsky
Production: Sony Pictures Classics
  4 wins & 10 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
84 min


In the traditional motion picture story,

the villains are usually defeated,

the ending is a happy one.

I can make no such promise

for the picture you're about to watch.

The story isn't over.

You, in the audience,

are part of the conflict.

What has happened so far

and what is happening now

is far from encouraging.

How we meet the Communist challenge

depends on you.

We are united in detesting

Communist slavery.

The Soviets are the best team

in the world.

Hockey proved that the Soviet system

was the best system.

When the Big Red Machine gets rolling,

they're mighty hard to stop.

Their target is us.

Our institutions,

our families, our children.

The Soviets beginning

to create their attack...

Brilliant play!

Although they don't show emotion,

let's face it,

they are a microcosm of their society.

You talk about a dynasty!

This is a bona fide superstar.

Maybe best in the world.

Slava Fetisov, one of the greatest

defensemen in the history...

Fetisov, centered in front. They score!

They were the totalitarian team.

The KGB guys were always there.

And it is sheer folly for us not to make

every conceivable preparation to win.

Okay, I'd just like,

kind of, a few things about...

Because, basically,

what I'm trying to get in the film is

what it was like to live

in the Soviet Union.


Yeah, and describe your feeling about...

I'm busy now. Hold on.

I've got some business.


My point is that American audiences

don't really understand the things

that people didn't have

or even the good things.

But what are some things that you can say...

"We had to wait in line, or we had to..."

That's a clich, but,

"We had to do this, we had to do that."

Travel, you know.

Just basic things

that we take for granted these days.

Like, this is... "Look, we couldn't travel.

We couldn't..." You know, whatever.

I was born in the Soviet Union in '58.

It was 13 years

after World War ll was over.

The whole country was ruined.

We lost 20 million people.

It's a lot.

We was living in Stalin's buildings.

Probably a 400 square foot apartment.

No running water,

no toilets, three families.

It was a pretty rough lifestyle.

I was a happy kid.

I play a game. I play hockey.

Pucks was empty cans

and stuff like that.

But, we had fun.

Our heroes played for the

Red Army Club, for the national team.

Hockey was the most popular sport

in the Soviet Union

because the Soviet hockey team

represented the peak of what

the Soviet Union had achieved.

And was proof that the Soviet

system was the best system.

It was politics, really.

My mom and dad,

they probably collected for two years.

They bought for me gloves,

helmet, and the skates.

On the black market,

it probably cost 250 rubles.

It was big money for a Soviet family.

There was a huge line of the boys.

With the sticks. With the skates.

With the parents. With the grandparents.

It's unbelievable.

It's probably 3-4 miles long.

When it was decided

that hockey would be the thing,

money, everything went into that.

They had a very well-organized system.

I mean, from childhood to...

They really picked out the best

of the best of the best.

And this was a nationwide system.

I was 9 years old.

I stayed in line probably 7 or 8 hours.

I was exhausted.

I got no chance.

They said, "Thank you very much.

Come again next year."

So I practiced 3 or 4 times a day.

Finally, they said I was good

enough to make the team.

I was so proud to play for Red Army.

Skate with no fear.

We'll give you exercises

no one has ever seen.

You'll be juggling your sticks,

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Gabe Polsky

Gabe Polsky (born May 3, 1979) is an American film director, writer, and producer. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Red Army" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 Feb. 2020. <>.

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