The Wind That Shakes The Barley

The Wind That Shakes The Barley

The Wind That Shakes The Barley
Ireland, 1920. Damien and Teddy are brothers. But while the latter is already the leader of a guerrilla squad fighting for the independence of his motherland, Damien, a medical student at University College, would rather finish his training at the London hospital where he has found a place. However, shortly before his departure, he happens to witness atrocities committed by the ferocious Black and Tans and finally decides to join the resistance group led by Teddy. However, peace is short-lived and when England imposes a treaty regarded unfair by a part of the population war resumes, this time pitting Irishmen against Irishmen, brothers against brother, testing their loyalties.
Winner Golden Palm 2006
2006Rating: R15, contains violence & content that may disturb127 minsGermany, Italy, Spain, France, Ireland, UKEnglish / Gaelic with English subtitles
DramaWar

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Reviews & comments

A memorable movie of a time many would prefer to forget

The story centres on a family, specifically 2 brothers who together with their contemporaries fight the British, and become divided when promised peace on the British. Of trust and distrust, brother finally against brother.

4.0
Total Film

Total Film

press

Ten years on from the last major film about the Irish Civil War (Neil Jordan's Michael Collins), Ken Loach offers an impassioned elegy for the Republican struggle within Ireland in the early '20s. Returning to the epic focus of his Spanish Civil War drama Land And Freedom, Loach explores the life-and-death dilemmas of fictional characters against a historical backdrop...

4.0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

A Ken Loach film about the British in Ireland always has the potential for controversy, but his historical drama is unlikely to inflame passions on either side.The film looks handsomely authentic, and the familiar characters are engaging, but the story is predictable and the Irish accents are so thick that even English subtitles are required. Loach's humanity is always in evidence, however, and the lack of histrionics will please many, so the film's conventionality could help make it accessible to general audiences...

New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

This is not to say it's a bad film, but it is never a great one. We emerge from it feeling improved, even educated, but never really transported...

3.0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

It seems the subject this time — the early IRA — is too big for Loach to achieve the harmony between director, writer and cast that informs his best work. The conceit of two brothers, one passionate about Irish independence from the get-go, the other won round, is perhaps too explicit a metaphor for a divided country, especially as their ideologies diverge. And it’s this sense of abstraction that makes it hard to invest in the film’s last act, which wavers between drama, historical reconstruction and the Cain-and-Abel-style conflict that’s about to unfold...

3.0
BBC

BBC

press

When a filmmaker as fearless as Ken Loach tackles a subject as contentious as the IRA, the dramatic potential is huge. Alas, despite winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes '06, The Wind That Shakes The Barley isn't Loach at his best...

3.0
Total Film

Total Film

press

Ten years on from the last major film about the Irish Civil War (Neil Jordan's Michael Collins), Ken Loach offers an impassioned elegy for the Republican struggle within Ireland in the early '20s. Returning to the epic focus of his Spanish Civil War drama Land And Freedom, Loach explores the life-and-death dilemmas of fictional characters against a historical backdrop...

4.0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

A Ken Loach film about the British in Ireland always has the potential for controversy, but his historical drama is unlikely to inflame passions on either side.The film looks handsomely authentic, and the familiar characters are engaging, but the story is predictable and the Irish accents are so thick that even English subtitles are required. Loach's humanity is always in evidence, however, and the lack of histrionics will please many, so the film's conventionality could help make it accessible to general audiences...

New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

This is not to say it's a bad film, but it is never a great one. We emerge from it feeling improved, even educated, but never really transported...

3.0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

It seems the subject this time — the early IRA — is too big for Loach to achieve the harmony between director, writer and cast that informs his best work. The conceit of two brothers, one passionate about Irish independence from the get-go, the other won round, is perhaps too explicit a metaphor for a divided country, especially as their ideologies diverge. And it’s this sense of abstraction that makes it hard to invest in the film’s last act, which wavers between drama, historical reconstruction and the Cain-and-Abel-style conflict that’s about to unfold...

3.0
BBC

BBC

press

When a filmmaker as fearless as Ken Loach tackles a subject as contentious as the IRA, the dramatic potential is huge. Alas, despite winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes '06, The Wind That Shakes The Barley isn't Loach at his best...

3.0

A memorable movie of a time many would prefer to forget

The story centres on a family, specifically 2 brothers who together with their contemporaries fight the British, and become divided when promised peace on the British. Of trust and distrust, brother finally against brother.

4.0