Fair Play

In early-80s Czechoslovakia, a young Olympic runner suffers a crisis of conscience (as well as serious physical ailments) after government officials pressure her to start taking steroids; meanwhile her single mother secretly types up anticommunist tracts for an old lover under state surveillance. This somber docudrama (2014) is nuanced in its handling of period and the central female characters, but its vilification of communist authority figures is so obvious that it occasionally comes off as condescending. Of course, the Soviets weren’t known for their light touch either, but fighting fire with fire doesn’t always guarantee compelling art (especially when one of those fires burnt out decades ago). Andrea Sedlackova directed a script she wrote with Irena Hejdova. In Czech with subtitles.