Southpaw (1998)

Genres - Culture & Society, History  |   Sub-Genres - Biography  |   Release Date - Apr 7, 2000 (USA)  |   Run Time - 77 min.  |   Countries - Ireland  |  
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This is a documentary about two years in the life of Francis Barrett, a talented travelling boxer from a small Irish town. Barrett's life runs like a fairy tale. He qualifies for the Irish Olympic team for Atlanta in 1996 and gets to carry the Irish flag during the ceremony. He wins the first bout and loses the second, but he is already a hero. After the games, he gets married and moves to London. He is tempted to go professional, but he is determined to participate in the Sydney Olympics. But to fulfill his potential he has to give up his coach from his childhood, the local barber Chick Gillen, and find himself a more qualified coach. A "southpaw," as explained at the beginning of the film, is a boxer who leads with the right hand and punches with the left, a metaphor for the travelling boxers who keep moving on, being treated as underachievers. The film's high point arrives when the hero returns from the Olympics. As a husband and a father, he has to deal with the nitty gritty of daily life. The film captures the tension as well as monotony in the life of a boxer.



athlete, boxing, competition, Gypsies, Ireland, Olympic-Games, poverty, tribute