This movie about chess won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1985. Now, you're probably wondering how a movie about chess could win any kind of award or be anything other than mind-numbingly boring. Well, consider these things that also happened in the year 1985:
1. Ronald Reagan, actor, takes oath for SECOND term as President.
2. Villanova defeats Georgetown in one of the greatest upsets in NCAA basketball finals history.
3. Madonna launches first tour, titled "The Virgin Tour."
4. British scientists discover ozone hole.
5. In an effort to attract younger drinkers, Coca-Cola introduces "New Coke."
Really, kind of scary, isn't it? So it's no wonder that one could make a movie about chess in a world like this one, gone mad. One should remember too, that the Cold War was still going full-throttle, so filmgoers were notably nervous and somewhat ready for a chess film.
Here, a lot of political games revolve around the World Championship match between champion Akiva Liebskind (Michel Piccoli) and Pavius Fromm (Alexandre Arbatt). The former is a loyal Soviet citizen. The latter is the dissident, younger, uppity player determined to undermine the system and squash his opponent.
Sounds positively exciting, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it's chess.
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