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Ireland, 2011 (MIFF 2011, This Sporting Life)

Director: Ian Palmer


"Brilliantly brutal and intriguingly insightful... superbly records a subculture where violence and honour come knuckle-to-knuckle." - Screen International

James Quinn McDonagh is a champion - of sorts. Stuck in the middle of a generation- spanning blood feud between Irish Traveller clans, James is the defender of his family name in a rivalry where scores are settled and reignited through an endless cycle of bare-knuckle boxing matches.

The vendetta - spawned from a bar brawl that ended in manslaughter - sees the Quinn McDonagh's and the Joyce's constantly seeking to one-up each other, taunting each other with trash-talking videotapes and challenges to combat.

Shot over 12 years, KNUCKLE takes in a previously unseen tribal world filled with larger-than-life characters, moments of brutalising machismo and a darkly Irish sense of humour.

D Ian Palmer P Ian Palmer, Teddy Leifer Dist Hopscotch TD digibeta/2011

See also...


USA, 2010
Iconic documentarian Frederick Wiseman (La Danse, MIFF 2010; Titicut Follies) returns with a fascinating look at the tight-knit world of a suburban boxing gym. ... Battered equipment is held together… More »


UK, 2010
"My bat was my sword." - Vivian Richards ... The West Indian cricket team of the early 70s was a joke to the rest of the world. Dubbed 'calypso cricketers', they were goaded by racist abuse and suffe… More »


USA, 2011
"Chess and me - it's hard to take them apart." - Bobby Fischer. ... A Grandmaster by the age of 16, Bobby Fischer was to many the greatest chess player who ever lived. A prodigal superstar to adoring… More »


UK, 2010
"A high-octane bio of one of auto racing's greatest figures." - Variety ... Brazilian motor racing champion Ayrton Senna is widely regarded as the greatest driver ever to get behind the wheel. The wi… More »

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