Paths of Glory

Published January 16, 2015

Gabe Polsky’s charismatic Cold War hockey documentary Red Army features Soviets eager for glory and humble in their patriotism. Its star is Slava Fetisov, who shined through three Olympics and seven World Championships in the late ’70s and ’80s for his country’s hockey team. The club’s innovative, Bolshoi-inspired training system produced teams that operated as if of one mind, but their on-ice success belied a brutal training environment that turned practice into a labor camp. As the team’s candid and conflicted captain, Fetisov proves an ideal case study for Polsky’s goal “to celebrate the art that emerged from such a charged and unique time.” Fetisov eventually led a Russian exodus to the NHL, joining the New Jersey Devils in 1989, but his American Dream has a twist ending: twice a champion with Detroit, he is now a member of the upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia.