Red Penguins tells a story of capitalism and opportunism run amok – complete with gangsters, strippers and live bears serving beer on a hockey rink 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 showed anything was possible in the new Russia. Eccentric marketing whiz, Steve Warshaw, is sent to Russia and tasked to transform team into the greatest show in Moscow. He takes the viewer on a bizarre journey highlighting a pivotal moment in U.S. Russian relations in a lawless era when oligarchs made their fortunes and multiple murders went unsolved.
User Reviews: So much of "Red Penguins" came as a surprise to me, even though I was an adult during the time period in which it occurred. It seems that after the fall of communism in the old USSR, the once-legendary Russian Army hockey team was in ruins. All their best players had recently defected to the NHL and the team was bankrupt. Amazingly, the Pittsburgh Penguins saw a major opportunity in this, as the plan was to rejuvenate this team with a massive influx of cash and NHL know-how. The film is about how this ultimately failed….and amazingly some of the Russians interviewed blamed the NHL and the United States for this, though the truth lies much closer to home.
The film shocked me how much the film appealed to a wide audience. Some of this is because many of the problems that ruined the Red Penguins are in place today and control Russia today. Well worth seeing and quite engaging.