Monday, January 5, 2009

Irish Movie Review - "Southpaw" 1999

"Southpaw" is a documentary about an Irish boxer Francis Barrett from the Galway area who fought for the Irish Olympic team in Atlanta in 1998. It's a great story of an underdog who made good. The story has a special twist because Francis was a "Traveller"
(Irish gypsy) and the story touches on how it was a first for the Traveller's to have someone in the Olympics.
The movie while touching on the issue of second class citizenship of the Traveller's remains focused on a personal story of Francis Barrett who overcame the odds to achieve his dreams. It is especially moving to hear Francis remarks about carrying the Irish flag for his team at the Olympics.
The movie is also about the special relationship of Francis and his trainer Chick who is a barber in Galway who went out of his way to train "Traveller" kids in boxing.
The only thing I wish there was more if was the personal life of Francis and his family. We do see him get marry and move to England but it is too short a sequence.
Francis went on to win the prestigious ABA of England and is fighting professionally in England. Francis Barrett's story is an inspiration for what is possible when you go for your dreams. A special small film worth watching.....

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