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.
In the 1970s, a young trans woman, Patrick "Kitten" Braden, comes of age by leaving her Irish town for London, in part to look for her mother and in part because her gender identity is beyond the town's understanding.
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.
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 title was taken from the poem The Wind that Shakes the Barley by 19th century poet Robert Dwyer Joyce: "But blood for blood without remorse // I've taken at Oulart Hollow // And laid my true love's clay-cold corpse // Where I full soon may follow //As 'round her grave I wander drear // Noon, night and morning early // With breaking heart when e'er I hear // The wind that shakes the barley". The poem is about a young man who joins the 1798 rebellion after his true love is killed. 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 »
I studied anatomy for five years, Dan. And now i'm going to shoot this man in the head. I've known Chris Reilly since he was a child. I hope this Ireland we're fighting for is worth it.
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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.
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