Synopsis by Mark Deming
One can argue that boxing is athletic competition reduced to its finest essence as two fighters use their fists to determine who the strongest athlete is. The growing phenomenon of the sport of mixed-martial arts (MMA) takes this notion, adds the showmanship of professional wrestling, and encourages would-be contestants by declaring that anyone with the strength and the nerve can step into the cage, regardless of their training and chosen style (or their lack thereof). While the sport of MMA has spawned multi-million-dollar businesses like the Ultimate Fighting Championship franchise, filmmakers Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein offer a look at the lower levels of the game as two aspiring fighters from Louisiana struggle to make a name for themselves in this documentary. In Fightville, we meet Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier, who came from an abusive upbringing, first injured someone in a fight at the age of five, and has the anger and determination to take (and dole out) punishment in the ring on a regular basis. We're also introduced to Albert Stainback, a smart and talented fighter with a good eye towards conjuring an image but not the same athletic skillset, and Gil "The Thrill" Guillory, an MMA promoter with an eye for talent and no use for starry-eyed would-be fighters who can't give the crowd what they want and bring in return customers. Fightville received its world premiere at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival.
martial-arts, mixed-martial-arts, image [public image], promoter, underdog