SXSW Film

Daily reviews and interviews

Fightville

Documentary Feature Competition
D: Michael Tucker, Petra Epperlein

It's a remarkable thing to watch the attitudes of an audience change from repulsion to exhilaration over the course of a film, which is what happened at last weekend's premiere screening of mixed-martial-arts documentary Fightville. When the movie began, you could almost feel the disgust rising from some in attendance as it dawned on them that they'd be spending the next 90 minutes watching grown men punch each other bloody in a cage. But by the time the movie ended, those same people were on their feet cheering: cheering for the film's two young heroes – one speeding his way up the ladder to fame and fortune, the other getting tripped up by the same demons that drove him into the cage in the first place; cheering for their coach, an amateur philosopher of violence who views MMA as a metaphor for life; and cheering for the sheer primal exhilaration of the fight, which we as civilized folks are supposed to abhor but can't seem to look away from.


Thursday, March 17, 9pm, State

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