The Wind That Shakes the Barley

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Click for availability and more information  The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Noted social realist director Kenneth Loach takes a break from the tenements and back streets and presents us with a much needed history lesson. Always in the corner of the underdog Loach tells the story of the 1920 I.R.A. uprising in Ireland. Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty leave no doubt where their sympathies lie. The film portrays the Black and Tans (the British soldiers sent to put down the rebellion) as ferocious and brutal. But... while representing the struggle of the Irish insurgents it still manages to show their faults as well. Without too much hyperbole, the movie provides an understanding of how Ireland became independent in 1920-1921. The mostly unknown (in the U.S. anyway) cast gives one of the most truthful performances I have ever seen. At the core are two brothers, Teddy and Damien, who ultimately end up on two sides of the divide. Teddy is a leader in the fight to gain independence from England. Damian is a doctor who is soon to be off to London to work in a prestigious hospital. What these two experience in a short period of time is more harrowing than most of us (thankfully) deal with in a lifetime. The action on screen is, at times, hard to watch but most certainly not gratuitous. But what transpires onscreen is the antithesis of the Hollywood blockbuster. This is an artful and thoughtful film. Make sure you turn the subtitles on; the brogue can be a bit tough to follow. This film was deservedly the winner of the Palme D'Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.
-Stephen

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on January 8, 2008 5:26 PM.

The Fall of the House of Usher & The Pit and the Pendulum was the previous entry in this blog.

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