A Very British Gangster Donal MacIntyre

A Very British Gangster Donal MacIntyre
When he worked the door of the Hacienda in Manchester, Dominic Noonan would often clash with local gangs wanting a free pass into the fabled nightspot to sell ecstasy to the all-night ravers. Fed up with the constant hassle, Noonan one day chopped the head off a dog and presented it to one of the gangs. Next time, he promised, the head would be one of theirs. Years later, Noonan would change his last name to Lattlay Fottfoy, an acronym for the family motto: "Look after those that look after you, fuck off those that fuck off you.” That family is the infamous Noonan crime dynasty and this film follows gangster Dom over three years in and out of court. Dom granted the filmmakers amazing access and was remarkably candid on camera, just shy of incriminating himself. The large, bald Dom resembles the Kingpin from Spiderman lore but his character is more complex. He is a family man but is openly gay. He made his mark in the field of armed robbery but now (apparently) runs a security firm. He acts as the neighbourhood mediator, much like De Niro’s Don Corleone, settling domestic spats. He admits to being gang-raped as an adolescent and confesses to "punishing” his enemies. He is by turns gracious and vicious. MacIntrye offers a compelling portrait of a real-life gangster, though he is sometimes too sympathetic to Dom. Dom alludes to a darker side, one that the camera doesn’t capture. Similarly, there’s not enough coverage of brother Des, the family enforcer who’s stabbed to death by an irate drug dealer, though footage of Dom’s in-laws isn’t too intriguing. That said, A Very British Gangster opens a rare window into the life of an authentic gangster, set against a grim backdrop of Mancunian slums and Oasis songs. Unfortunately, this DVD offers no bonus features of any sort. (Mongrel Media)