Against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, two brothers fight a guerrilla war against British forces.

Director:

Ken Loach

Writer:

Paul Laverty
7 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cillian Murphy ... Damien
Pádraic Delaney ... Teddy
Liam Cunningham ... Dan
Orla Fitzgerald ... Sinead
Mary O'Riordan Mary O'Riordan ... Peggy (as Mary Riordan)
Mary Murphy Mary Murphy ... Bernadette
Laurence Barry Laurence Barry ... Micheail
Damien Kearney Damien Kearney ... Finbar
Frank Bourke ... Leo
Myles Horgan Myles Horgan ... Rory
Martin Lucey Martin Lucey ... Congo
Aidan O'Hare ... Steady Boy
Shane Casey Shane Casey ... Kevin
John Crean John Crean ... Chris
Máirtín de Cógáin 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 | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last line of Damian's dialogue (between him and his brother in the prison cell) was kept out of Cillian Murphy's script until the day the scene was filmed. See more »

Goofs

The priest says "in nomine patris... et spiritus sanctus". The correct genitive is "sancti". A priest would not make this error. See more »

Quotes

Teddy: [looking around Hamilton's study] Such a beautiful room, it's hard to imagine a man's scream from here. Ever seen fingernails ripped out with a rusty pliers, Sir John, hmm? All your learning, and you still don't understand.
Sir John Hamilton: Oh, I understand perfectly, Mr. O'Donovan. God preserve Ireland if ever your kind take control.
Damien: [trains his gun on Hamilton] Well, you'd better start getting used to the idea.
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

Amhráin Na bhFiann
Traditional
Words by Peader Kearney & Patrick Heeney
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User Reviews

 
Historically accurate Visually stunning
17 June 2006 | by caidycSee all my reviews

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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Details

Language:

English | Irish | Latin

Release Date:

23 March 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wind that Shakes the Barley See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$135,554, 18 March 2007

Gross USA:

$1,836,089

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,903,165
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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