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:: The Wind That Shakes The Barley

The Wind that Shakes the Barley takes a sympathetic look at Republicans in early 20th century Ireland, and two brothers who are torn apart by anti-British rebellion. The film won the Palm D’Or for director Ken Loach but won’t be to everyone’s tastes especially considering the heavy violence and grisly number of torture scenes.

Damien (played by Cilian Murphy) signs up with the Republicans, joining brother Teddy (Padraic Delaney) to fight for a free Ireland after he witnesses the murder of a friend because he wouldn’t give his name in English to British soldiers, only in Gaelic.

Initially on his way to London to become a doctor, Damien enlists with a small branch of the IRA to help in making Ireland independent after particular events occur which give him impetus to fight for his country. The film journeys through Damien and Teddy’s struggle dealing with the separatist movement and the increasingly violent nature of the Brits in denying the brothers their fight.

Heavily political, the film at times gives too much narrative regarding bureaucracy and detail pertaining to the treaty which both countries are negotiating. This element is boring and makes it easy for the viewer to tune out, missing important aspects of the film leading up to its conclusion.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a movie best left to history aficionados as may be too much for other punters to concentrate on.