The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006)

In film, period drama, political, war on 22/07/2011 at 6:01 pm

This is an important film. It’s a beautiful film. That’s probably why it won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. It’s also an unsettlingly violent and sorrow film, which I, for the sake of my sanity, didn’t watch in one go.

The Wind that Shakes the Barley is an Irish marching song, and this film is set in the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921) against their British oppressors, as well as the Irish Civil War (1922-23). The main character Damian (Cillian Murphy) at first reluctantly gives up a promising career in medicine to join the Republican Army. Then he gets so entangled in the strife that there’s no way out. Damien and his brother Teddy (Padraic Delaney) are allies in the first war, and enemies in the next.

Director Ken Loach undoubtedly deserves all the credit he got for this film and it tells a story that desperately needs to be told. Still, I don’t know whether I’m recommending it. I wonder if the brutality this film portrays is the best way to tell the story.

Do tell me what you think.



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