Irish Language Doc, Rocky Ros Muc, Released in Irish Cinemas on 24 November
Telling the compelling story of one of Ireland’s lesser-known sons — boxer Sean Mannion — Michael Fanning’s critically acclaimed Irish language feature documentary, Rocky Ros Muc, opens in Irish cinemas on Friday, 24 November.
Produced by Máire Bhreathnach alongside Fanning, Rocky Ros Muc examines spirit inside the ring and troubles outside; the reality of emigration and its impact on identity. In the mid-1970s, Sean Mannion left the quiet Galway village of Ros Muc and headed for a new life in Boston. With a talent for boxing, his sparring partners at his new gym were at the heart of Whitey Bulger’s Winter Hill gang. Friends and fellow emigrants, his world was there world — the ‘fighting Irish’: extortion, kidnapping, racketeering and murder.
In October 1984, Sean stood in the boxing ring in Madison Square Garden in New York City, fighting for a WBA world title crown. His rise up the professional ranks wasn’t straightforward. Neither was his descent.
Rocky Ros Muc received its world premiere at the Irish Film Festival, Boston where it won the award for Global Vision Documentary and had its Irish premiere earlier this year at the Galway Film Fleadh, taking home the Best Irish Feature Documentary accolade.
The doc received four stars from The Irish Times, wherein it was praised for exploring “the psychology of emigration and enclave population” through Sean’s personal story. These sentiments were echoed by The LA Times, in which it was noted that it is “as much about roots and identity” as it is a portrait of Mannion. Rocky Ros Muc is also one of 170 documentaries, long-listed for the 2018 Academy Awards®, joining other Irish documentary titles, School Life, Elián and The Farthest.
Rocky Ros Muc is a Below The Radar production and supported by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board.