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Red Army at TIFF

I used to live in Toronto, and around this time of year I often wish I did again. The Toronto International Film Festival is back and one of the films featured is Red Army by Gabriel Polsky and Executive Producers Werner Herzog and Jerry Weintraub.

Red Army was also shown at Cannes earlier this year where it earned very strong reviews. It’s a compelling story with so much background and two incredible characters at it’s centre in Slava Fetisov and Scotty Bowman.

Ths film is on this evening at Ryerson and tomorrow luchtime at the Hot Docs theatre.

A few reviews:

The Guardian “Hockey was propaganda. Players were bred to beat the west, with young children selected by Soviet officials to enter intensive bootcamps. One such player – Viacheslav Fetisov – is at the heart of Polsky’s story.”

The Hockey News“Red Army is so compelling because it is about the people, the most central character being Fetisov, and how complicated the relationship between hockey and politics is in that country. On one hand, Fetisov speaks of how intrusive and dictatorial the hockey system was under Viktor Tikhonov, then speaks about his country losing its soul when players such as Ovechkin are free to come to North America and chase millions of dollars.”

Black Sheep Reviews “At its forefront, the film appears to be an ordinary sports documentary, but it is far more entertaining that any sports doc to hit the big screen in years. At times, the film progresses with the mood of an espionage thriller; an interview with a retired KGB agent doesn’t help to slow this feeling down either.”