Kneecap review: An honest and irreverent insight into Belfast rappers’ free-living republicanism

(105mins) ****

Liam Óg Ó Hannaidh, DJ Próvaí and Naoise Ó Cairealláin in Kneecap

Paul Whitington

Anyone who knows their hip hop will have heard of Kneecap, a west Belfast trio who rap as gaeilge and espouse a rousing brand of free-living republicanism. This comic drama, which charts the band’s creation, is unlikely to appear before the summer but is already causing quite a stir — a US release now seems likely. What our American friends will make of it all remains to be seen, but Rich Peppiatt’s film offers refreshingly irreverent insights into matters northern, and is very funny indeed.

Young tearaways Naoise and Liam Óg have been friends since childhood, and identify as members of the so-called ‘post-Troubles generation’. But while that label might suggest everything is tickety-boo, gainful employment is scarce on the streets of west Belfast, and in fairness Naoise and Liam Óg don’t seem all that motivated anyway. For they’ve found a lucrative way of life — selling drugs they source on the internet.

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