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Set in the claustrophobic, smoky world of working-men’s clubs and the male-dominated stand-up comedy circuit of 1970s and 1980s Northern England, ‘Funny Cow’ tells the story of a female comedian who uses her troubled experiences growing up, and subsequent turbulent relationships, as raw material for her performances. The world in which she inhabits is full of sleaze and unabashed bigotry, displayed in many of the stand-up performances (including her own) in ways that may shock audience members unfamiliar with the era. Despite its title, the film is a powerful study of the effects of domestic violence and abuse, as we follow the central character – whose name we never learn – as she tries to succeed in an extremely hostile environment.
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