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Sunday, August 31, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 61.0° F  Fog
The Daily
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Freedom's Fury at the 2008 Wisconsin Film Festival
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<i>Freedom's Fury</i>
Freedom's Fury

Here's a top ten countdown of things I learned from Freedom's Fury, the moving documentary on the 1956 Hungarian water-polo team that prevailed in the Melbourne Olympics over Hungary's occupiers, the Soviets, in what became known as the "bloodiest game in Olympic history."

Starting from the top:
10. I was abysmally ignorant about the brief, and ultimately unsuccessful, Hungarian national uprising against the Soviet Union in 1956, mirrored 12 years later in the so-called Prague Spring.

9. I was abysmally ignorant about water polo.

8. Hungary has more Olympic gold medals in water polo than any other nation.

7. Mark Spitz is a pretty good narrator.

6. Budapest is really two cities, Buda and Pest, joined by a bridge over the Danube River. Sort of like Neenahmenasha.

5. The young men on the 1956 Hungarian water polo team looked fabulous in Speedos.

4. The same team, 50 years later, in Speedos -- not so much.

3. Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.
2. Once again, after urging a popular uprising, the U.S. and other Western nations neglected to support the revolution once it started.

1. Sometimes, the whole world really is watching.

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