Southpaw | 2000
Francis Barrett was just another anonymous contender until he carried the Irish flag in the opening ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. In an instant of global media attention, the young boxer from Galway became a national hero, the first Traveller (gypsy) ever to make it to the Olympics. Two extraordinary years in Francis' life are laid bare as filmmaker Liam McGrath follows him from his trailer park home -- where his fellow Travellers exist without electricity or running water -- to the rickety gym of his trainer, Galway barber Chick Gillen, and on through his meteoric rise to the Olympics and back home again. What emerges is a portrait not only of a real life Rocky and his will to win but of the spirit of the long-ostracized community from which he rose.