The Wind That Shakes The Barley (2006)

Imdb Ranking 7.5

"Mercenaries! That were paid to come over here to make us crawl, and to wipe us out. We've just sent a message to the British cabinet that will echo and reverberate around the world! If they bring their savagery over here, we will meet it with a savagery of our own! "

This a beautifully filmed, wonderfully scripted film that shows the beauty of Ireland and the horror that was going on there in 1920. The British, who were just coming out of World War I were portrayed as brutal, torturing sub-human brutes by director Ken Loach.

The movie goes on to show how the Government of Ireland Act further divided the country. Some of the Irish were willing to take their freedom and swear allegiance to the Crown while others wanted to continue the fight for complete freedom. One of the men who wants to keep up the fight says : " And I cannot ... I will not .. spit on the graves of our dead martyrs by swearing an oath of allegiance to the British Crown!"

Another man responds : "If you really want to desecrate the graves of those boys, if you really want to insult their memories. go ahead and reject this treaty, because this is what they died for."

The movie goes on to suggest that the Government Act was a sell out by the upper classes so that they could have control of the country, in place of the British. Soon Irishmen are shooting Irishmen. The uniform colors have changed but the fighting continues.

Loach has been quoted as saying : "I turned down the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire)because it's not a club you want to join when you look at the villains who've got it. It's all the things I think are despicable: patronage, deferring to the monarchy and the name of the British Empire, which is a monument of exploitation and conquest." That being said, The Wind that Shook The Barley takes a very pro-Irish and a very anti-British tone.

The movie is very violent with ambushes, massacres, executions and torture Not a lot of fun, but the movie is really well done. It isn't a Hollywood movie. There are no clear-cut winners and losers, everyone is a loser here.

Tragic times, looked at truthfully. An excellent movie by a great director.