You don't have to be a hockey fan to appreciate "Red Army," the documentary about the famed Soviet Union national team that also serves as a great examination of the Cold War.

Director Gabe Polsky tells the story through the eyes of the players, headed by captain Slava Fetisov - who in the opening moments is seen ignoring Polsky's questions while answering a phone call.

We see Fetisov and his teammates at the height of their dominance, how they overcame the 1980 Olympic loss to the United States to take a stranglehold on the sport.

The success led to desires to make their worth, something that wasn't happening in the Soviet Union at that time.

Eventually the group - which also includes Anatoli Karpov, Viacheslav Fetisov, and Alexei Kasatonov - would leave the national team and try their hand at NHL.

This turned the group from national heroes to public enemies.

The stories about these men's prowess on the ice is interesting enough, but what makes "Red Army" so interesting is how it also works as a statement on what it was like from the Soviet perspective during the Cold War era.

These players were national celebrities, yet were restricted by the government from doing small things like going home to see their wives or see an ailing parent. 

What might be the most fascinating element of all is even when this group left, it didn't deter their ride in their country.

Several returned to their homeland years later, able to forgive the hardships during a different era.

"Red Army" shows you can take the man out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the man.

"Red Army" is rated  PG for thematic material and language and is now in limited release, opening this weekend at the Belcourt Theater in Nashville.

Grade: B


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