#TIFF19: “RED PENGUINS”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
For a brief time in the early 1990s, American investors owned a stake in a Russian hockey team, the Russian Penguins. It was an ill-fated business venture, but created a Story filled with the kind of twists and turns usually reserved for a Hollywood movie – not real life.
For the most part, Red Penguins is entertaining and amusing to watch. I had no idea about any element profiled in this wild true story, and I spent the majority of the Film wide-eyed and bewildered listening to all of the sordid details. The footage Director Gabe Polsky was able to acquire is amazing, and the candid interviews he received from many of the Story’s major players is downright astounding. At just 80-minutes however, Red Penguins is never given the opportunity to stop and evaluate anything that is being said on-screen and struggles to draw conclusions about what happened. It moves far too quickly from topic to topic, and the last half of the Film is more chaotic than the Story itself and substantially more political than anything that proceeded it. But hey, where else at TIFF are you going to see footage of a bear chugging a beer?
RED PENGUINS screens during TIFF at the following times:
Thursday September 5, 6:30pm @ Scotiabank Theatre [World Premiere]
Friday September 6, 3:15pm @ TIFF Bell Lightbox
Saturday September 14, 6:30pm @ Scotiabank Theatre