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Hockey Socialism

The Red Army paints a multifaceted picture of the Soviet ice hockey team during the Cold War. How to unite collectivism and the freedom of the individual?

Red Army
Directed by Gabe Polsky

In the historical relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, we find a parallel between film and ice hockey. This relates to an artistic as well as a political issue: the contradiction between individualism and collectivism.
The Soviet ice hockey national team in the 1980 century, often regarded as the best of the time, was based on a style of play that emphasized the interaction between the individual players. Looking at video footage from games of this decade, you see an organic whole moving: It is as if every player intuitively knows where his fellow players are. Each player makes himself the least possible, dances out of pass shadows and sacrifices his or her own hero status for the best team strategy: to win.
The American hockey national team became known for a more individualistic style. There it was allowed to be one.
We can see a similar contradiction in films from the 1920s: Where the Soviet feature film emphasized collective values, the American film informed. . .

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Teaches film studies at NTNU Email endreeid@gmail.com

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