Red Army

As Soviet communism reached a dead end in the 1980s, Soviet ideals remained alive and well in the form of the nation’s hockey team, the Red Army, who were world champions for most of the decade. This engaging documentary provocatively suggests that the team succeeded in large part because of communist indoctrination. Trained to think as a collective, the team was unbeatable, and because the government forced them to associate with other members of the cultural vanguard, they developed innovative strategies based on lessons from chess grandmasters and the Bolshoi Ballet. In another irony, the Red Army’s final victory came when the players, having joined the Detroit Red Wings a few years earlier, defeated the Philadelphia Flyers to win the Stanley Cup in 1997. Gabe Polsky directed. In English and subtitled Russian.