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Nineteen-year-old Danny Flynn is imprisoned for his involvement with the I.R.A. in Belfast. He leaves behind his family and his sixteen-year-old girlfriend, Maggie Hamill. Fourteen years later, Danny is released from prison and returns to his old working class neighborhood to resume his life as a boxer, fighting and opening a boxing club training aspiring boxers. Maggie has since married Danny's best friend, who is also imprisoned for his I.R.A. activities. Although he has not denounced the I.R.A. or denigrated his I.R.A. colleagues, Danny has decided to live a life free of political violence. His boxing club is nonsectarian, open to both Catholics and Protestants. This move irks some of his old I.R.A. colleagues since they feel working with the Protestants will not resolve their David versus Goliath struggle. Danny's old I.R.A. colleagues, especially their unofficial leader Harry, resort to traditional tactics of violence to stop Danny. Maggie's father, Joe, also an I.R.A. activist, ... Written by
Although set in Belfast, the film was almost exclusively shot in the run-down docklands and Sheriff Street area of Dublin's North Inner City. The flat complex used in the film was earmarked for demolition but this was postponed until filming was completed. Since then the entire area has been redeveloped and now contains several multinational company headquarters, a college, hotels, up-market restaurants, a rail station and million dollar apartments. See more »
The cut above Danny's left eye disappears in some scenes. See more »
The Boxer is dark movie about a seemingly unsolvable problem. It's filmed in a constant dark, dreary, depressing light; this light reflects not only the weather but the mood of Northern Ireland.
This expose of "the troubles" in N. Ireland uses a story about a boxer who returns to his home after being released after 14 years of imprisonment. His goal is to take his most usable asset (boxing) and make something of himself and his former coach.
Like everything in N. Ireland, living normally is laced with problems when you're in the middle of a war. His interest in his now-married former girlfriend is forbidden, since prisoners of war wives are off limits to honor the prisoner. Accepting gifts from the police force is also a sign of capitulation, and as such carries penalties.
The film clearly shows that those that wish to make peace (however passively) and live normal lives are marked as disloyal and targeted by the Irish Mafia (alluded to as the IRA in the film).
It's a sad commentary on a desolate group of trouble makers in a growing desolate land.
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