Of Miracles and Men
What it's about: Every American knows the story of the 1980 USA hockey team, a shabby crew of college kids elevated to national heroes for (somehow) taking down the unbeatable Soviets — and going on to win the gold in a come-from-behind victory against the Fins. It's arguably our sports greatest moment; an echo of the underdog Americans triumphing over larger, more sophisticated rivals in red, this time amid the Cold War. For every winner there is a loser, for every hero a villain. This film tells their story.
What it's really about: Empathy. We thought these so-called Soviet "robots" were specifically bred to defeat Americans on the ice, "but given the beauty and creativity of their game," said director Steven Hock, "that never made sense to me." These, instead, were real men, good men, talented men whose roboticism was our misunderstanding of a sport perfected. Some of them went on to play in the NHL, most eventually lived lives outside the rink, but none on history's greatest hockey team ever really escaped the spectre of losing to a bunch of ragtag college kids from America.