Red Army

An entertaining documentary about the Soviet ‘Red Army’ national ice hockey team and its many successes during the late 1970s and 1980s, examining the players’ relationships with the Russian authorities, each other and their stringent, much-disliked coach Viktor Tikhonov, as well as the team’s significance in relation to the Cold War. The footage of the team in action – slick, devastating passing moves with an end product being their speciality – makes for a superb highlights reel, and the interviews are never less than fascinating; the prickly conversations between the American filmmaker Gabe Polsky and the Russian former captain Slava Fetisov are a highlight. I know very little about ice hockey but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the film at all. (***½)