RED PENGUINS: Virtual Film Screening and Discussion with Gabe Polsky


Location: Online


Director & Producer: Gabe Polsky
Production Co: Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) [de], Studio Hamburg Enterprises (SHE), Gabriel Polsky Productions
Runtime: 80 minutes
Rating: PG-13

Thursday, February 18, 2021
4:00 PM Virtual Film Screening 
5:30 PM Virtual Panel Discussion

Film director Gabe Polsky will participate in a post-film discussion with Hall of Fame hockey player Peter Šťastný and historian John Soares, moderated by Nanovic Institute Interim Director Clemens Sedmak.

About the Film

Complete with gangsters, strippers, 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. 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 the Director

Gabe Polsky is a producer, writer, and director, known for Genius (2017), the 10- time Emmy® nominated TV show on National Geographic about Albert Einstein, Red Army (2014), the award-winning documentary that chronicled the epic rise and fall of the Soviet Union, through its famed Red Army hockey team, and In Search of Greatness (2018), a cinematic journey into the secrets of genius as told through the greatest athletes of all time.  

In 2015, Gabe Polsky screened Red Army on campus as part of the event “Elite Athletes & the Cold War,” a discussion of life and politics as an elite hockey player during the Cold War that culminated in an NHL Alumni exhibition hockey game sponsored by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies and Notre Dame Athletics.

About the Panelists

Peter Šťastný has been actively involved in politics in Slovakia and in the European Parliament.  He played an important role in working for Slovakia's membership in NATO and the EU. Between 2004 and 2014, he served as a member of the European Parliament.  Before entering politics, Peter played professional hockey, representing three different countries, Czechoslovakia, Canada, and Slovakia, during three different international ice hockey competitions.  He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

John Soares, a Routledge Prize-winning historian and former Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at Carleton University in Ottawa, teaches history at the University of Notre Dame. His publications on international hockey have appeared in such journals as Diplomatic History and the International Journal of the History of Sport; the Wilson Center’s Cold War International History Project Working Paper series; and the anthologies Diplomatic Games and Sport and the Transformation of Modern Europe. His most recent article, about the Paul Newman film Slap Shot, appears in the latest issue of Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature

Clemens Sedmak (moderator) serves as interim director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies. Sedmak is professor of social ethics in the Keough School of Global Affairs and holds a joint appointment with Notre Dame’s Center for Social ConcernsHe is also a concurrent professor of theology in the Department of Theology.