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US documentary about legendary Soviet hockey squad set for debut at Cannes

May 16, 2014, 18:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Legendary defenseman and then-captain of the Soviet ice hockey squad Vyacheslav Fetisov appears in the documentary as the primary storyteller
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© Fotokhronika TASS

MOSCOW, May 16. /ITAR-TASS/. A long-anticipated US documentary about the famed Soviet ice hockey team, “Red Army,” will make its debut on Friday night at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, which kicked off two days ago.

Directed by Gabe Polsky, a son of Russian immigrants, and produced by Hollywood heavyweights Jerry Weintraub and Werner Herzog, “Red Army” chronicles the world’s dominance of the so-called ‘Red Machine’ against the changing of the social and political background in the Soviet Union in 1970s and 1980s.

Legendary defenseman and then-captain of the Soviet ice hockey squad Vyacheslav Fetisov appears in the documentary as the primary storyteller.

In a telephone interview with ITAR-TASS earlier on Friday, Fetisov, who is currently in Cannes, said the premier night would be unique.

“Red Army is a unique film in this format to be played in the Special Screening Section,” Fetisov said. “On the one hand it is very exciting and on the other it is interesting what the reaction would be.”

“This film about people, who played for that team, about those, who defeated almost everyone, about Red Army,” Fetisov said adding that in the documentary he is telling “how everything was not so easy and how we practiced.”

Documentary director Polsky’s interest to ice hockey and the Soviet team stands to reason as he was born in the Soviet Union and used to play ice hockey in his early years, coached by a Russian trainer.

“This man [Polsky] was born in Odessa,” Fetisov said. “I believe his first trainer planted in his soul a seed of passion for the hockey. That was when he first dreamed of making a film about the team, which was achieving high results.”

Last month in an interview with TheHockeyNews.com daily, Polsky said he wanted the world to know how great the Soviet hockey team was and how much effort people applied to achieve such results.

“The thing most people in the West know about Soviet hockey is the 1980 disaster,” the daily quoted Polsky as saying. “What many don’t know is how and why they were so good. I think that’s almost more miraculous - how amazing these guys were.”

“It’s not just a hockey movie. It’s a very deep and emotional story that gets into the Russian soul,” the US film director added.

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