'Red Penguins' -- a film about capitalism, the Cold War and hockey

The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Image Copyright: Norddeutscher Rundfunk and Studio Hamburg and Gabriel Polsky. Used with permission.

It's hard to believe a film about hockey could be so political and relevant, offer up a scathing critique of cross cultural insensitivity and capitalism going off the rails, and entertain at the same time. Complete with gangsters, dancers and live bears serving beer on a hockey rink, Red Penguins tells the wild forgotten true story of capitalism and opportunism run amok in Moscow. Shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the famed Red Army hockey team formed a joint venture that redefined what was possible in the new Russia.

Steven Warshaw, Gabe Polsky and Face2Face host David Peck talk about their new film, Red Penguins and themes of hockey, national pride, optimism and hope, cultural peculiarities, listening to others and capitalism run amok.

Eccentric marketing whiz Steve Warshaw, is sent to Moscow and tasked to transform the team into the greatest show in Russia, attracting some of the biggest names in Hollywood and advertising along the way. He takes the viewer on a bizarre journey highlighting a pivotal moment in U.S.-Russian relations during a lawless era when oligarchs made their fortunes and multiple murders went unsolved.

About our guests:

Steven Warshaw was the Pittsburgh Penguins man in charge on the ground in Moscow. With a 'special talent for generating firestorms in arenas,' Warshaw was instrumental in the success of the Russian Penguins and was asked to stay after the venture fell apart. He did not. He is currently the Arena Guest Services Supervisor at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Gabe Polsky wrote, directed, and produced the feature documentary In Search of Greatness, a cinematic journey into the secrets of genius as told through the greatest athletes of all time. It was released theatrically to critical acclaim in 2018 and was nominated several awards including a Writers' Guild of America Award. In 2017, Gabe was the executive producer of Genius, the 10 time Emmy-nominated TV show on National Geographic about Albert Einstein. He and his brother Alan acquired the rights to the Albert Einstein estate and the best-selling Walter Isaacson biography, which became the bedrock of the series.

In 2015, Polsky directed, wrote and produced the award-winning documentary Red Army which was released by Sony Pictures Classics to universal acclaim. Executive produced by Jerry Weintraub and Werner Herzog, the film premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. The story chronicled the epic rise and fall of the Soviet Union, through its famed Red Army hockey team.

Polsky co-directed and produced The Motel Life, a feature film starring Emile Hirsch, Dakota Fanning, and Steven Dorff. The film won numerous international awards and was described by Indiewire as "a perfectly formed indie with a heart of gold." In 2016, The New Yorker commissioned Polsky to make a short documentary called The Blimp-Maker. Additional producing credits include Werner Herzog's Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans which was named in over 40 top-ten lists of 2009 and His Way , an Emmy-nominated documentary released by HBO in 2011.

Image Copyright: Norddeutscher Rundfunk and Studio Hamburg and Gabriel Polsky. Used with permission.

F2F Music and Image Copyright: David Peck and Face2Face. 

For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here.

With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.