A documentary on the 1956 Olympic semifinal water polo match between Hungary and Russia. Held in Australia, the match occurred as Russian forces were in Budapest, stomping out a popular revolt.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Viktor Ageyev ...
Himself
Antal Bolvari ...
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János Bük ...
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Sándor Csoóri ...
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...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
James Green ...
Himself
Dezso Gyarmati ...
Himself
Judith Gyenes ...
Herself
István Hevesi ...
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...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself
Bob Horn ...
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Laszlo Jenei ...
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Janos Kapcsos ...
Himself
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A documentary on the 1956 Olympic semifinal water polo match between Hungary and Russia. Held in Australia, the match occurred as Russian forces were in Budapest, stomping out a popular revolt.

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One team. One country. One chance for revenge.

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Documentary | Sport

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Release Date:

7 September 2006 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

A szabadság vihara  »

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(European Film Market)
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User Reviews

 
Hugely impressive; surpassed all expectations
6 August 2008 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

I'll admit I had misgivings. Was this going to be a hackneyed, pathos-dripping American documentary with a naïve voice-over commentary, relegating the "local talent" to the role of extras and curiosities? Within two or three minutes it was obvious it was not - there is a sensitivity and an unhurried feel (though there is action enough for anyone, in and out of the water) to the making of this film that could teach many a lesson. The protagonists are given room to tell their story, and - particularly in the case of those who lived the Uprising and several very articulate and immensely likable members of the Hungarian Olympic side - they grab it with both hands and effectively take things over.

The history, and the tragedy of what went down in the fall of 1956, is also presented in detail and not in sound-bites for the attention-deficient, and you are left with a feeling that everyone involved knew that they were dealing with a subject that deserved their full attention, and that they had amazing picture material that should be allowed to speak for itself. Gripping, heartwarming, uplifting, some seamless blending of archive footage and modern recreations, and worthy of a much larger audience.

Kudos to Mark Spitz, too, for a job well done, but then again, when you read the final credits you know why - how could he have DARED to let his old schoolboy coach down?

As a side observation, it was good to see the members of the defeated Soviet water polo team in good cheer. When the Soviet Union's football team was defeated by Yugoslavia at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, just four years after Tito had humiliated Stalin politically, the players did not fare quite so well. Stalin had expected much more out of the country's first appearance at the Olympics. He immediately disbanded CSKA Moscow, who had provided most of the national side, the result of the game was not published in the USSR until 1954 (a year after his death), and many of the unfortunate players (let's face it, they only had the bad luck to come up against a very very good Yugoslav team, who took the silver medals behind the magnificent Hungarians and Ferenc Puskas) allegedly wound up in labour camps. At least Nikita Khrushchev did not stoop THAT low in 1956. There is also quite a good TV-documentary about this particularly ugly footnote in footballing history, but I cannot for the life of me find it now...


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