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The Wind That Shakes the Barley-Movie Review 10/20/2010

Posted by Films to consider in Based on true story, Drama, Irish film, Movies.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley (Irish) 2006

Winner, Palme d’Or, Cannes Film Festival

Directed by Ken Loach, written by Paul Laverty
Starring Cillian Murphy as Damien and Pádraic Delaney as Teddy

In Ireland in 1920, citizens have started taking a stand against the British crown by fighting for the right to create an Irish Republic. The British fight back, using raids, torture, intimidation, and murder.

The O’Donovan family in County Cork has two sons: the younger one is Damien, who studied to be a doctor and plans to practice in London; the elder is Teddy, who is already in command of the local unit of the newly-formed Irish Republican Army.

Damien witnesses two violent events that change his mind about the course of his life; he joins his brother and becomes a respected member of the unit. As the fighting escalates, the brothers are faced with growing differences in their views about its purpose. What one considers an acceptable treaty with the British, the other sees as intolerable surrender of the goal of complete Irish independence. Finally, each brother must make a terrible decision.

According to Wikipedia, this film “set a record in Ireland as the highest-grossing Irish-made independent film ever.”

127 min. Not rated. Violence.


1. MaryAnne - 10/24/2010

I was pretty underwhelmed by this film, but you are the second in my cadre of reliable reviewers to really like it, so i guess i’ll have to revisit it. Maybe i was just in a bad mood when i watched it, or maybe it was the whole watching-it-on-a-13-inch-tv thing. At any rate, i’ll open my mind, watch it again, and let you know what i think.

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