A basketball drama about the 1978 US-Soviet Olympic clash unexpectedly topped the charts in Russia, earning over R2.8 million at the box office. Some 11.5 million lined up to see the film, Going Vertical (“Движение Вверх”).
The actual 1978 gold medal game in Munich ended in disarray, as refereeing mistakes led to multiple replays of the last three seconds of the game. Finally, the Soviet team scored when Belarusian player Ivan Edeshko heaved a full-court pass and teammate Alexander Belov scored. The US team protested, and their silver medals are unclaimed to this day.
The movie celebrates the Soviet team as victorious underdogs who achieve the impossible. Going Vertical has become a true fan favorite, with Russians crying and applauding as the credits roll. In fact, it is now the highest-grossing Russian film in post-Soviet history. The only movie that earned more in Russia? The international blockbuster Avatar.
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