This is one ugly documentary. But that’s not to say it’s not interesting, it surely is as it tells the tale of the McDonagh and Joyce families – two traveler families in Ireland who relentlessly fight each other for cash on the basis of a long standing family grudge.
The Patriarchs are James McDonagh and Paddy Joyce – two of the most unlikeable, ignorant yet totally fascinating dichotomies of men you’re ever likely to see on screen – and they taunt each other by sending home video taped challenges to fight for cash in the back roads and vacant lots of provinical Ireland.
Film maker Ian Palmer has followed this story for well on 12 years and has gathered such material to present an incredibly and totally confounding documentary. The whole way through this I was looking for a semblance of logic in the brutish, arcane violence on display – but as Palmer repeatedly tries to ask for a reason, the answers that come back are so convoluted and lacking any form of sense that there is nothing to really follow in either sides argument. Cue my frustration.
Its certainly watchable – though the subtitles are distracting especially when they don’t accurately represent whats being said – but this is a test of a documentary and one that will frustrate and confound some viewers.
KNUCKLE is out now on BLU-RAY, DVD and DOWNLOAD