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The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  23 March 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 34,820 users   Metascore: 82/100
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Against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, two brothers fight a guerrilla war against British forces.



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6 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


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


Drama | History | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


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Release Date:

23 March 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El viento que acaricia el prado  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£390,720 (UK) (23 June 2006)


$1,829,142 (USA) (6 July 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The commercial interest expressed in the United Kingdom was initially much lower than in other European countries and only 30 prints of the film were planned for distribution in the UK, compared with 300 in France. However, after the Palme d'Or award the film appeared on 105 screens in the UK, more than three times larger than the UK release for any of Ken Loach's previous films. See more »


A few of the IRA members are seen armed with German Mauser Kar98k rifles. However, these rifles weren't introduced until 1935, whereas the film takes place in 1920-1922. See more »


Finbar: [the IRA have just gunned down several Black and Tans] Mercenaries! That were paid to come over here to make us crawl, and to wipe us out. We've just sent a message to the British cabinet that will echo and reverbarate around the world! If they bring their savagery over here, we will meet it with a savagery of our own!
See more »


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


Amhráin Na bhFiann
Words by Peader Kearney & Patrick Heeney
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Go and see this film
15 June 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Another powerful movie from Ken Loach and a well deserved winner of the Palm D'or at Cannes. Some magical performances not only from the stars, but from the whole cast. I would urge you to find this film and go and see it. You will be educated, moved and it will leave you wanting to understand more.

From the start you feel as if you are in the 1920's and this feeling stays with you throughout. Obviously with a lower budget than most of the summers blockbusters, the film still manages to contain amazing action sequences and just has a wonderful atmosphere throughout.

Truly fantastic!

103 of 146 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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