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Amidst the festive spirit of St. Patricks Day, the iconic symbol of luck, the clover, reminds us of the rich traditions and celebrations honoring Irish heritage.
Exploring St. Patrick's Day Alternatives in Kansas City
Aydan Stigler and Grace BeshoreMarch 14, 2024

  The annual St. Patrick's Day celebration is just around the corner, and with celebration comes large crowds.    The annual city parade...

Visit the City Market to explore local vendors.
Smart Saving Strategies for a Wallet-Friendly Spring Break
Emily Wheeler, Staff Writer • March 14, 2024

  UMKC students are ready for the upcoming week-long spring break, but are their wallets?   From travel adventures to staycations, spring...

Earth Mother by Sheron Smith
Her Art/Their Art Explores the Female Experience in the 21st Century
Elyse Bredfeldt, Staff Writer • March 12, 2024

  Her Art/Their Art is a collection that aims to answer the question: “What does it mean to identify, live, navigate, or be perceived by society...

Nina Simone: Four Women” playbook.
The KC Rep’s “Nina Simone: Four Women” is both timeless and poignant.
Maisy Blanton, Staff Writer • March 5, 2024

  The Kansas City Repertory Theater (KCRep) recently performed “Nina Simone: Four Women.” The show follows musician Nina Simone as she...

Around 1 million people were estimated to be in attendance at the parade.
One Dead, Several Injured During Chiefs Parade
Zach Gunter and Jazlyn SummersFebruary 14, 2024

Update:   As of 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon, the number of those injured at the Union Station shooting after the Chiefs Super Bowl parade...

Review: The Von Erich’s Story

An incredible and gut-wrenching biography of the famous wrestling family’s tragic story.
Troi Buford
“Iron Claw” was released Dec. 22, 2023.

  Sean Durkin’s masterful 2023 film, “The Iron Claw” features the famous Von Erich family and their infamous tragic story. This incredible and heartbreaking story opened to praise from both critics and audiences, earning $36.5 million at the box office on a $15.9 million budget. 

  While the Von Erich family is the subject of the film, Durkin primarily focuses on Kevin Von Erich, played by Zac Efron, and his relationship with his three brothers during their wrestling careers. 

  In the first 20 minutes of the film, it’s obvious that their father, Fritz, certainly isn’t the best dad and he’s pushed his sons towards a life of wrestling to accomplish what he couldn’t. I found his character to be appalling but well-acted by Holt McCallany. 

  Durkin sets up a fantastic comparison between Kevin and his brothers showing that wrestling is a big part of his life, but it’s not as significant as it is for the rest of his family. I found Kevin’s personal life helped non-wrestling fans grow attached to him.

  While in Japan for All Japan Pro Wrestling, tragedy strikes the family. David Von Erich dies. Kerry gets into a terrible motorcycle accident, costing him a foot. Mike Von Erich suffers a horrible shoulder injury and while in surgery, randomly develops toxic shock syndrome which leaves him with permanent brain damage. 

  Viewing these events in such a quick succession gave me whiplash, which I imagine is how the Von Erichs felt. Durkin’s choice to barely give the audience breathing room worked for me and left me feeling horrible for these brothers.

  Shortly after, Mike commits suicide by purposely overdosing on pills and is later followed by Kerry. 

  Despite not having a relationship with my brothers, I found the film to be incredibly emotional. Seeing these tragedies from Kevin’s point of view, I felt like I had become a part of the family and was experiencing these losses alongside them.

  One consistent criticism of the film is the omission of the youngest brother, Chris Von Erich, who was the second brother to commit suicide at the age of 21. The film’s director stated that an additional suicide may have been too much for the audience to handle, so he combined Chris’s suicide with Mike’s. 

  It’s almost hard to believe so much tragedy could happen in one family. One of Kevin’s last lines adds one final gut-punch to the viewer: “Once I had 5 brothers, now I’m not even a brother.” 

  “The Iron Claw” stands among some of the best films of 2023 and is an emotional watch whether you’re a wrestling fan or not. 

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