The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) 1080p

Movie Poster
The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) 1080p - Movie Poster
Drama | War
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Run Time:
127 min
IMDB Rating:
7.5 / 10 
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Directors: Ken Loach [Director] ,

Movie Description:
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.


  • The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) 1080p - Movie Scene 1
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  • The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) 1080p - Movie Scene 1

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Not only a gripping war movie, but a useful history lesson too

"The wind that shakes the Barley" is a film about the Irish war of independence, that was fought from 1919 - 1922.

This war resulted in the Free State Ireland, which had some independence from the United Kingdom, and Northern Ireland. In 1937 the Free State Ireland became the Irish Republic, which was wholly independent from the United Kingdom.

Films about Ireland are mostly about the tensions between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland during "The troubles" (1966 - 1998). "The wind that shakes the Barley" puts this troubles in a historical perspective.

The film consists of two parts. Part 1 is about violence on the side of the English occupier, part 2 is about Irish disunity.

The English violence in the movie did cause some discomfort at the time of release. We are accustomed to warcrimes perpetrated by Germans, but the English? It should however not be forgotten that the English used World War One veterans in the Irish war of independence. Particulalrly the "Black and tans" were notorious.

When we think of Irish disunity we think of the religious divide between Catholics and Protestants. In this film the central division is that between the Irish who are willing to accept the Free State (at least for the time being) and the ones who want total independence right now.

Another division which is somewhat overshadowed in the film, is that between Irish nationalists and the Irish socialists. I found this a little strange, because after all we are talking about a Loach movie. In some scenes though, this division did come to the surface. I am specifically talking about the scene in which a loan shark is convicted by an Irish "peoples court". This loan shark however also happens to finance weapons for the IRA. The question arises what the ultimate goal of the independece war really is? Is it only to change the accents of the powerful and the colour of the flag, or is it something more?


The only reason I gave this a 9 is because I gave MICHAEL COLLINS a 10 and it just isn't as good, after saying that this could be considered the flip side of the coin as we see what is going on in other parts of the country before and after the TREATY. we start off here with a bunch of lads in CORK running around like a hoard of elephants in work boots playing HURLEY, this is significant because the I.R.A were notorious for recruiting through the G.A.A, DAMIEN a local doctor played flawlessly by CILLIAN MURPHY doesn't share his brother TEDDY'S enthusiasm for the cause but a brutal unprovoked attack by the BLACK N TANS will set DAMIEN'S mind and his destiny on a new path.DAMIEN experiences the struggle first hand and the difficulty of recruiting poverty stricken rebels and the dire conditions of the training program were potential rebels train with HURLS instead of guns. DAMIEN gets consumed by the war and his role in it as his motivation grows with every effort, but when the TREATY splits the nation the two brothers find themselves torn and DAMIEN is questioning the cause once again. this movie is deep the BLACK N TAN brutality is visited repetitively and in gruesome fashion and there is a sympathetic angle for the rebels who at times are fighting even themselves, the movie is emotional at times through severe violence and the effort to sustain relationships under duress. a must see for this genre and very engaging, highly recommended.

Very realistic portrayal

If you know your history, you will know the black n tans were some of most nihilistic, violent people England ever sent to Irish shores and this film perfectly conveys that. To all the English people complaining that this is anti-english or an unfair portrayal without knowing the history - deal with it. This your history, your past.

I see anti Irish comments from English people all the time on movies like these. And to the guy who started his review with "why can't the Irish admit what they did", you literally made up some of the most random history ever. Bravo. Read the history of Ireland.
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