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The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  23 March 2007 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 34,229 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 218 user | 167 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:

| |

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)

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

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 »

Goofs

In the beginning, as the characters play a game of hurling, a farm is visible in the background, at the foot of a mountain. The buildings near the farmhouse are much too large and modern to have been constructed in 1920's Ireland. See more »

Quotes

Damien: The Treaty does not express the will of the people, but the fear of the people.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Amhráin Na bhFiann
Traditional
Words by Peader Kearney & Patrick Heeney
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The truth hurts
19 June 2006 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

Saw it at private screening too.

Editorial from a Cork newspaper sums it up well:

This wind shakes more than barley

In Ireland we are in rare position internationally when it comes to our media. Most of what we read, listen to and watch is usually interpreted in two perspectives, through our own media and through that of our near neighbours across the Irish Sea. There are other instances of large and small neighbours with a common language (Germany and Austria; USA and Canada; Australia and New Zealand), but nowhere is the penetration of the larger nation's media into the neighbouring market as pronounced as it is in Ireland. Viewership of UK TV stations and readership of UK owned newspapers in Ireland is at a level that makes them as significant to our view of the world as our own media. This breeds a familiarity with our neighbours that can make us Irish assume the British know as much about us as we do about them. Nothing could be further from the truth however as has been graphically illustrated by the reception given in Britain to Ken Loach's Palme d'or winning movie The Wind that Shakes the Barley. There is no question that this film makes the British forces look bad, but of course the reality as all Irish people know is that they were. In the UK normally reasonable and intelligent reviewers and commentators cannot cope with this depiction of occupying British forces as violent repressors of a largely defenceless native population. It has been described as unbalanced and portraying the valiant British soldiers in an unfair and unflattering light. The truth is that the vast majority of British citizens couldn't tell you where Galway is and why should they? They're ignorance of their own colonial past so close to home and denial of it shouldn't surprise us; it is not something to be proud of. This is not to attack Britain, but to remind Irish readers of UK newspapers and viewers of UK television that Britain is indeed a foreign country. They view the world through an entirely different perspective than us, and in truth our views are inconsequential to them. That's why Loach's film, which tells essential truths, will not get a general release in the UK. Despite the fact that Anglo-Irish relations are probably better now than they have ever been the truth about Britain's history in Ireland is something that they just aren't ready for, and probably never will be.


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