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The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  23 June 2006 (Ireland)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 33,575 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 217 user | 166 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

Against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, two brothers fight a guerrilla war against British forces.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Teddy (as Pádraic Delaney)
...
Dan
...
Mary O'Riordan ...
Peggy (as Mary Riordan)
...
Laurence Barry ...
Damien Kearney ...
Frank Bourke ...
Leo
Myles Horgan ...
Martin Lucey ...
Aidan O'Hare ...
Shane Casey ...
Kevin
John Crean ...
Máirtín de Cógáin ...
Sean (as Mairtin de Cogain)
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Storyline

In 1920, rural Ireland is the vicious battlefield of republican rebels against the British security forces and Irish Unionist population who oppose them, a recipe for mutual cruelty. Medical graduate Damien O'Donovan always gave priority to his socialist ideals and simply helping people in need. Just when he's leaving Ireland to work in a highly reputed London hospital, witnessing gross abuse of commoners changes his mind. he returns and joins the local IRA brigade, commanded by his brother Teddy, and adopts the merciless logic of civil war, while Teddy mellows by experiencing first-hand endless suffering. When IRA leaders negotiate an autonomous Free State under the British crown, Teddy defends the pragmatic best possible deal at this stage. Damien however joins the large seceding faction which holds nothing less than a socialist republic will do. The result is another civil war, bloodily opposing former Irish comrades in arms, even the brothers. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Winner of the PALME D'OR at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Language:

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Release Date:

23 June 2006 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

El viento que acaricia el prado  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$76,190 (USA) (16 March 2007)

Gross:

$1,829,142 (USA) (6 July 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the cinema scene, the man at the piano is Neil Brand, one of Britain's leading silent cinema accompanists, who in 2006 featured significantly as a composer and accompanist in the BBC television series "Paul Merton's Silent Clowns". See more »

Goofs

When the players are arguing with the referee during the hurling game, a modern car is parked in the distance, to the left of the referee's head. See more »

Quotes

Damien: Give me your letters, Chris.
[Damien holds out his hand. Chris just looks at him]
Damien: Give me your letters, Chris!
Chris: I didn't know what to write. And Mam can't read.
[Damien lets his hand fall, sighs]
Chris: Just tell her I love her. And where I'm buried.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 17 March 2007 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

The Doon Reel
Traditional
Arranged by the performers
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Great film
24 June 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a truly great film and well deserving of the Palm D'Or.

It has been said that it is pro IRA or IRA propaganda. I disagree. In fact I think the reverse is the case. It shows up both the brutality of war and the even greater brutality of civil war that sets nation against nation and brother against brother. The film provides an understanding of how Ireland became independent in 1920-1921. It is well documented (e.g. visit the BBC or CAIN websites) that the Black and Tans were a brutal and oppressive irregular force sent to put down the rebellion. The IRA reacted with similar brutality. The film records both with equally graphic scenes. But that is only the first half of the film. The second half deals with the civil war. That's even more tragic and brutal.

Who was on the right side or the wrong side? The film presents the arguments but I really don't think the film takes sides. More of the anti British and anti treaty argument is advanced. But this is understandable because it is historically accurate that West Cost was ferociously anti British and mainly anti treaty. That's why Michael Collins was destined to die there. And it is more important to understand why people/nations go to war or civil war rather than why they don't.

Understanding the reasons does not mean support for war. The film highlights the futility and awfulness of war. Misery destruction and death. Is there such a thing as a just war (apart from 2nd World war)? Aside from the historical debate, the story, filming and acting is magnificent. Much better than the Green Berets on the just war by USA in Vietnam! Blackhawk Down brilliantly covered Somalia from the external US perspective. This film brilliantly covers the 1920/21 wars from the Irish perspective. We need all perspectives.

Well worth seeing with an open mind. Then read the history if you want.


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