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The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, War | 23 March 2007 (USA)
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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

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 ...
...
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

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

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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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)

Gross:

$1,829,142 (USA) (6 July 2007)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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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

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 »

Quotes

Damien: How many British soldiers in the country, Tim?
Tim: Too many.
Damien: How many?
Teddy: About ten thousand, Damien.
Damien: Ten Thousand. Tans, artillery units, machine-gun car, cavalry...
Teddy: And many more besides. What's your point, Damien?
Damien: It's young men like Micheail we're talkin' about, Teddy.
Teddy: Micheail was a real Irishman, Damien.
Ned: You're a coward, Damien.
Damien: I'm a coward? And you're a hero, isn't it, Ned? You're gonna take down the British army with your hurley, is that it?
[...]
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Traditional
Words by Robert Dwyer-Joyce (as Robert Dwyer Joyce)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Was it worth it?
20 July 2006 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

"The Wind that Shakes the Barley" is a fantastic film, and extremely apt given the current socio-economic climate in Ireland. We seem to be losing part of our heritage everyday, once again slave to foreign influences (both sides of the water) and willing to lose sight of our past to embrace the future. I left the cinema in Navan, Co Meath, wondering to myself "are we really as free as we think we are?". We have the highest debt ratio per capita of any country in the EU, a cost of living that is spiraling ridiculously out of control and criminals that make the Manson family look like the Partridge family. So what did we fight for in the rising of 1916, the War of Independence and the Civil War? To be more like the British? The day of real patriotism is gone, it has been replaced by cash hungry capitalists willing to sell out in the name of progress. Back to the film! This was probably the first "war film" that I have seen that did not over step the mark in terms of taking sides. It was extremely objective and a credit to Ken Loach for the accuracy of his research and the depiction of the times. I would liken it, in some ways, to Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" as it was really devoid of any sustained periods of levity and stayed constantly true to its theme, unconcerned by commercial considerations. A masterpiece of film making and a credit to the superb cast, particularly Murphy and Cunningham. Film of the Decade so far


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