2019 TIFF Film Review: KNUCKLE CITY (South Africa 2019) ***

Knuckle City Poster

KNUCKLE CITY takes place in the the reputed birth place of world champion boxers, in the director’s home township of Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa where crime and drugs are rampant.  

The film centres on Dudu (Bongile Mantsai), a local who has become a womanizing professional boxer and his brother Duke (Thembekile Komani), now a career criminal, chasing money and thrills at every turn.  With Duke set to be released after a three-year stint in prison, Dudu enlists the help of his brother’s criminal connections to try to get himself one last shot — but both end up with a much bigger fight than they bargained for.  Qubeka’s fast paced family boxing family drama is all action accompanied by a wild soundtrack of rap music.  

Qubeka does not judge his characters and they act and behave the way they do because they do not know any better.  Such a dangerous lifestyle leads to trouble.  But as their father told then boys when they were young: “It is all about family”.  

KNUCKLE CITY also reveals the poverty of the township while keeping the audience entertained with lots of boxing action.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqLice1D7Pc