7.5/10
39,776
226 user 174 critic

The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 23 March 2007 (USA)
Against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, two brothers fight a guerrilla war against British forces.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
4,988 ( 20)

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
6 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

David is an unemployed communist that comes to Spain in 1937 during the civil war to enroll the republicans and defend the democracy against the fascists. He makes friends between the soldiers.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Ian Hart, Rosana Pastor, Icíar Bollaín
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Narrowly avoiding jail, new dad Robbie vows to turn over a new leaf. A visit to a whisky distillery inspires him and his mates to seek a way out of their hopeless lives.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Paul Brannigan, John Henshaw, Roger Allam
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

After having suffered a heart-attack, a 59-year-old carpenter must fight the bureaucratic forces of the system in order to receive Employment and Support Allowance.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Sharon Percy
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Eric, a football fanatic postman whose life is descending into crisis, receives some life coaching from the famously philosophical Eric Cantona.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Steve Evets, Eric Cantona, Stephanie Bishop
Jimmy's Hall (2014)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During the Depression, Jimmy Gralton returns home to Ireland after ten years of exile in America. Seeing the levels of poverty and oppression, the activist in him reawakens and he looks to re-open the dance hall that led to his deportation.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Barry Ward, Francis Magee, Aileen Henry
Bloody Sunday (2002)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A dramatization of the Irish civil rights protest march and subsequent massacre by British troops on January 30, 1972.

Director: Paul Greengrass
Stars: James Nesbitt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Nicholas Farrell
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After being fired from her job, Angie teams up with her flatmate to find employment for immigrants.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Kierston Wareing, Juliet Ellis, Leslaw Zurek
Sweet Sixteen I (2002)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Determined to have a normal family life once his mother gets out of prison, a Scottish teenager from a tough background sets out to raise the money for a home.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Martin Compston, Michelle Coulter, Annmarie Fulton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Dan
...
Mary O'Riordan ...
Peggy (as Mary Riordan)
...
Bernadette
Laurence Barry ...
Micheail
Damien Kearney ...
...
Leo
Myles Horgan ...
Martin Lucey ...
...
Shane Casey ...
Kevin
John Crean ...
Máirtín de Cógáin ...
Sean (as Mairtin de Cogain)
Edit

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 | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

23 March 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El viento que acaricia el prado  »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£390,720 (United Kingdom), 25 June 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,190, 18 March 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,829,142, 8 July 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,889,018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Winner of the 2006 Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. 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: I tried not to get into this war, and did, now I try to get out, and can't.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Traditional
Words by Robert Dwyer-Joyce (as Robert Dwyer Joyce)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of Loach's best
8 June 2006 | by See all my reviews

The remarkably low rating that this film has so far received (4.1 as of Thursday 8th of June) is indicative of its ability to raise the hackles of people who haven't even seen it. How can it be otherwise when the film has not yet been released? 135 people have voted; have all of these 135 people actually watched the film? Of course not. They're just voting on the basis of their perceptions or assumptions concerning its political agenda. IMDb voters are not alone in this; already Simon Heffer in The Daily Telegraph, Dominic Lawson in The Independent, Ruth Dudley-Edwards in The Daily Mail and Michael Gove in The Times are attacking a film they haven't seen (by their own admission). These attacks are the predictable reaction of empire apologists unable to abide the depiction of the dark and brutal underside of that imperial machine, or the suggestion that anyone on the receiving end of that brutality might be justified in rebelling against it. The title of Dudley-Edward's lazy hack-job says it all, really: 'Why does Ken Loach loathe his country?' Loach is a traitor, and must be punished, the rotter.

It's a pity that this political controversy seems poised to overwhelm discussion of the film, because it's an extremely able piece of cinema and deserves to be seen as such. Barry Ackroyd's cinematography is superb, ably capturing the beauty of the Irish countryside without indulging in it. We are rooted in a locale without being lavished with pretty pictures. The acting is also excellent. The charismatic Cillian Murphy carries the movie, but the support from Liam Cunningham, Orla Fitzgerald, Aidan O'Hare and Padraic Delaney is also commendable.

But it's the collaboration between Loach and his scriptwriter Paul Laverty that makes the film something like a masterpiece. The grim progress from the murder of an Irish youth to the growth of an armed I.R.A. campaign, with its attendant violence (shown in stark and horrifying detail) is expertly managed; the only let-up comes not far from the end, after the signing of the 1921 peace treaty. Loach tries to show the brief jubilation and relief that ensues, but in terms of momentum almost drops the ball. The pace is re-established in time for the inexorable tragic denouement, and the film's final emotional impact is considerable. The load is occasionally lightened by the odd touch of Loach's characteristic wry comedy, such as the belligerence of the opening hurling game, the teenage message-boy who loses his message, the melodramatic pianist accompanying the newsreel announcing the momentous news of the creation of the Free State.

One of the most disturbing scenes occurs when a group of I.R.A. men return from a successful battle and discover a farmhouse being attacked and destroyed by a group of British soldiers. The rebels, who have no ammunition left, are forced to look on, concealed in the bushes; they watch powerless as the farmhouse's inhabitants are abused. We watch along with the characters, just as helpless as they are. Why do we watch? Do we want to intervene, to play the hero and save the day? Do we perhaps enjoy it? The trouble with many so-called anti-war films, as Loach has said, is that they outwardly condemn the violence while at the same time encouraging (intentionally or not) a vicarious pleasure in the thrill of it all. We want to take part, we imagine how we would behave in such circumstances (of course, we usually imagine ourselves behaving with impeccable bravery and surviving to fight another day). This scene, rather than placing us in the thick of the action, forces us to occupy the position of impotent bystander. Perhaps this is what being a film-goer is all about: powerless voyeurism. As we watch the country tear itself apart in civil war, manipulated by a devious and callous colonial master, this point becomes all the more pertinent. A quietly devastating film.


360 of 418 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 226 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017

"The IMDb Show" connects the dots between IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017 and unwraps some of the most memorable and festive animated holiday specials.

Watch now