This is a post that is a repurposing of an old-school Mini-Review Round-Up post. As stated here I am essentially done with running multi-film review posts. Each film deserves its own review. Therefore I will repost, and at times add to, old reviews periodically. Enjoy!
Cold War on Ice: Summit Series ’72
To accompany the launch of its new 24-hour sports network, which coincided with the conclusion of the NHL’s Winter Classic, NBC Sports Network also decided to debut a documentary about the Summit Series from 1972. It was a series of 8 “exhibition” hockey games between the Soviet Union’s vaunted team (a team that had won 10 consecutive world titles and four out of the prior five Olympic Gold Medals) versus a selection of Canada’s best and brightest (with very few exceptions) from the NHL. The importance of the series in the annals of hockey history is known to fans but is quickly illustrated to even the most lay of fan furthermore the piece really becomes about the series, it is in essence a sports film but it does a great job going back and forth between on-the-ice action and discussion and the off-the-ice intrigue of the series. While there is much interview footage it does a great job of letting the subjects tell the story and standing aside. Perhaps the most difficult thing this film tries to do, it accomplishes and that is to convey the gravity and the magnitude that this series of games carried for the Canadian people 40 years ago. Recently, ESPN has set the bar for televised long-form sports documentaries in the US. Here most if not all those 30 for 30 specials are surpassed. If NBC Sports Network continues to find compelling subject matter like this and convey it as well as they did they’ll be a bonafide contender in the sports documentary game.