Latest Posts

KNEECAP Trailer: Sundance Winner Chronicles the Wild Beginnings of an Irish Rap Trio


“Every word of Irish spoken is a bullet fired for Irish freedom.” You wouldn’t think at first such a patriotic quote would apply to a scrappy rap trio from Belfast, but that’s one of many surprises of Kneecap – the eponymous rap group, comprised of Naoise Ó Cairealláin, JJ Ó Dochartaigh, and Liam Óg Ó Hannaidh, who all star as themselves in the fictionalized origin story. Rich Peppiatt writes and directs the electrifying retelling of how the titular group rose in 2017 and whose Gaelic rap became part of a campaign to save the Irish language in British-ruled Northern Ireland. Though they’ll have to survive the police, paramilitaries, and many other roadblocks to achieve their dreams and mission. Michael Fassbender also gets in touch with his Irish roots as Naoise’s IRA fugitive father. It premiered at this year’s Sundance where it won the NEXT Audience Award before making stops at SXSW and Tribeca. Ahead of its theatrical release on August 2, we now have an official trailer courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.

In their review from Sundance, HtN wrote “Bursting with wild energy and jamming rhythms, it examines the bridge between political matters and crowd-pleasing entertainment through the eyes of the titular Northern Irish rap trio… [Peppiatt] is able to give the music biopic genre a new spin in the form of a rags-to-riches raunchy comedy, and his three leads get to flex their acting chops… Rather than use the Troubles as a beacon of generational trauma, the film turns it into a sort of punchline in regards to Kneecap’s willingness to defy British supremacy and keep the Irish language alive through their music… Peppiatt ensures that no matter what antics they get involved in, we cheer for them on screen just as much as we would for them on stage. Kneecap takes plenty of risks thematically, and they pay off in a way that makes it a heartwarming and hilarious retelling. Whether you’d want to learn Gaelic on Duolingo after watching this is completely up to you, but Naoise (stage name Móglaí Bap), Liam (Mo Chara), and JJ (DJ Provaí) have taken quite an adrenaline-fueled platform to spread their mother tongue in a way that will likely resonate with other proud Irish folks all over. Sit back, take a deep breath, and get ready for one absolute banger!”

Here’s the official synopsis:

When fate brings Belfast schoolteacher JJ into the orbit of self-confessed ‘low life scum’ Naoise & Liam Og, the needle drops on a hip hop act like no other. Rapping in their native Irish language, KNEECAP quickly become the unlikely figureheads of a Civil Rights movement to save their mother tongue. But the trio must first overcome police, paramilitaries & politicians trying to silence their defiant sound – whilst their anarchic approach to life often makes them their own worst enemies. In this fiercely original sex, drugs, and hip-hop biopic KNEECAP play themselves, laying down a global rallying cry for the defense of native cultures.

Check out the trailer and poster below.

KNEECAP Official U.S. Poster

Liked it? Take a second to support Hammer to Nail on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

M.J. O'Toole began writing for HtN in early 2021 during the Sundance Film Festival. An NYC native and lifelong cinephile, his favorite films include Chungking Express, The Three Colors Trilogy, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Lovers on the Bridge, and Midnight Cowboy. He is the Digital Marketing Manager for the agency 3rd Impression - working alongside Editor-at-large Matt Delman - that specializes in digital marketing for independent film. He holds a BA from Adelphi University and a Masters in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts. You can check out his portrait and street photography on Instagram.

Post a Comment

Website branding logosWebsite branding logos