'Red Army' a bravura tale of Cold War hockey

March 10, 2015 10:41 PM

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The skillfully made "Red Army" sets a mischievous tone early: We see Ronald Reagan, before his White House days, in full-throated, anti-communist glory. Then we're transported to Russia, where legendary hockey hero Slava Fetisov talks into his cellphone, giving filmmakers the finger rather than answering any questions. It looks like an outtake.

So begins this bravura documentary about the Red Army hockey team during its glory days of the 1980s and beyond. No hockey knowledge is required to enjoy this intimate epic, which is a playful yet deeply felt rumination on sports, friendship, Cold War politics and the Russian psyche.

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