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.
1987, love in time of war. A bus driver George Lennox meets Carla, a Nicaraguan exile living a precarious, profoundly sad life in Glasgow. Her back is scarred, her boyfriend missing, her ... 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 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 The day of real patriotism is gone, it has been replaced by cash hungry capitalists willing to sell out in the name of progress.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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