A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
"In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the past 300 years, they have asserted it in arms." -- Proclamation of the Irish Republic (1916)
It begins in the chaos of combat, men and boys wielding their weapons on the battlefield, shouting and cursing and fighting. Sure, it's only an amateur hurling match, an Irish game similar to field hockey, and the weapons are bladed wooden sticks.
But this is Ireland in 1920 and there's a war going on -- a guerrilla war for the independence of the Irish Republic, pitting the freedom fighters against the British army, the impoverished Irish workers against the English land barons, and eventually brother against brother.
These lads are about to be sucked into the middle of it, for even their game of hurling is a violation of the English government's ban against public meetings by Irish citizens. Only minutes after the match, one of their number, a 17-year-old boy, will be assaulted by the brutal "Black and Tans" (primarily demobilized British soldiers from World War I) for the crime of refusing to give his own name in English.