Spring 1936, a young unemployed communist, David, leaves his hometown Liverpool to join the fight against fascism in Spain. He joins an international group of Militia-men and women, the ... See full summary »
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.
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.
Angie gets the sack from a recruitment agency for bad behaviour in public. Seizing the chance, she teams up with her flatmate, Rose, to run a similar business from their kitchen. With ... See full summary »
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
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 »
As Damien talks to the driver at the train station, modern concrete markings for the visually impaired are visible along the platform edge. See more »
I saw this film at a private screening and found it difficult yet beautiful to watch. I have a personal history with the subject matter as I come from a family from both sides of the political divide in Ireland. A stigma that exists to this day but is reflected so profoundly with this film. Ken Loach's direction is crisp and perfect. The performances are, each and every one, incredibly believable and achingly visceral in the depiction of the conflicts of civil war. Cillian Murphy is wonderful and quite possibly the best Irish actor ever. Pádraic Delaney as his brother and enemy takes the role and makes it one of the best male performances I've seen. It is rare when a film allows you to understand both sides of a violent divide so clearly. The Wind that Shakes the Barley does this with blinding perfection. This film is a template for what film makers can achieve with a small budget, dedicated performers and a timeless topic.
Some who find this so provocative need to look further into their own loyalties to determine why the truth bothers them so much. Those who feel this to be Republican propaganda, ( and for you Americans I mean Irish Republican ), need, seriously, to investigate their own history. It doesn't surprise me that so many British people know nothing of their countries colonizing tactics in Ireland and elsewhere in the world. Six counties of Ireland still remain under British control. The sacrifices made 80 years ago still resonate today but the Republic of Ireland is now the third richest country in Europe. The question still debated is Was it Worth it? The question we ask is how's Scotland and Wales doing?
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