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Knuckle: Irish Fighters, Bloody Noses And It's All Real

Posted December 7, 2011 - By Kevin Kelly

Forget about Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz. They are wimps compared to the Quinns and the Joyces, an Irish family with a longstanding feud. And how do they settle things? With bare-knuckled brawling. The film Knuckle, which was playing as part of Fantastic Fest, is officially coming to theaters on December 9th. Here's a clip from the documentary Knuckle that documents the aforementioned feud and their fights.

Knuckle "Explaining To The Police" Video »

Tim, I hope you've enjoyed having your adult teeth up until now. Knuckle is playing as part of the Fest, and we'll have a writeup on the film here soon, along with some choice words from director Ian Palmer and James Quinn McDonagh himself.

When videographer Ian Palmer was hired to film a Quinn family wedding, he unexpectedly stumbled upon a documentary subject that would occupy him for over a decade. KNUCKLE centers around a feud between the Quinns and a neighboring clan, the Joyces. Both are part of a large group of ethnic Irish known as Travellers. Travellers are generally poor, travel from place to place in search of lodging and work and are often the victims of discrimination in Ireland.

In addition to sharing a Traveller heritage, the Quinns and Joyces are united by mutual hatred. Instead of resolving their issues in court or killing each other, the menfolk engage in bare-knuckle fights for honor and cash. One would think that a couple of fights would be enough to end a feud. However, the two families hated each other so much that they have continued to beat each other up for over 12 years.

Director Ian Palmer followed the Quinns and Joyces for years to document the arc of their long-running dispute. He captures numerous fights, most of which are brief and brutal, as well as the daily routines of various participants. The individual incidents that lead to the fights seem petty and slight, giving the impression that the family dispute has more to do with adrenaline and testosterone than family honor. However, a serious grudge borne of a real tragedy fuels the flurry of smashed faces. KNUCKLE isn't just about fighting; it’s about a group of outsiders trying to survive in a world that is hostile to their way of life. (Rodney)

KNUCKLE will also be the theme of our signature festival event: Fantastic Debates. At the Fantastic Debates, press, filmmakers & film professionals enter the arena for a formal debate followed by two rounds of boxing. In the ring, the great issues facing the fan community are solved once and for all, first by words, then by fisticuffs. Four debates are scheduled, culminating in the main event, a bout featuring KNUCKLE star and undefeated bare-knuckle brawler James Quinn McDonagh versus Fantastic Fest Co-Founder Tim League. (Rodney Perkins)

Remember, Knuckle is in theaters on December 9, so be sure to check it out!

Tags: Movies, Sports

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