The Wind That Shakes the Barley NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

(289) IMDb 7.5/10

Legendary director Ken Loach's epic tale of two brothers torn apart by the Irish revolt against the British. Cillian Murphy stars in this dramatic Cannes Palm D'Or winner.

Starring:
Cillian Murphy, Liam Cunningham
Runtime:
2 hours 7 minutes

The Wind That Shakes the Barley

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama
Director Ken Loach
Starring Cillian Murphy, Liam Cunningham
Supporting actors Liam Cunningham, Orla Fitzgerald, Mary O'Riordan, Mary Murphy, Laurence Barry, Damien Kearney, Frank Bourke, Myles Horgan, Martin Lucey, Aidan O'Hare, Shane Casey, John Crean, Máirtín de Cógáin, Keith Dunphy, Kieran Hegarty, Gerard Kearney, Shane Nott, Kevin O'Brien
Studio IFC Film
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Very well done with great acting.
gator
A very well made and unsentimental look at the post-WWI Irish revolt against British rule and the civil war that followed the formation of the Irish Free State.
R. Albin
The accents could be a bit difficult to understand sometimes, but it is after all an Irish movie, so it makes sense, and only made it more lovely.
Griffin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Ireland in the early Twenties exploded into armed rebellion against the British. Two brothers at first made opposite decisions. A group of Black and Tan British soldiers arrive at a farm where the brothers and a group of other young men are resting after a hurling game (something like field hockey). The British terrorize everyone there, the men, the women, the aged and the young. They beat and kill one man for refusing to give his name in English. When they roar off, one brother, Teddy (Padraic Delaney), immediately helps form the men into armed resistors. Damien (Cillian Murphy), a medical student, decides to go on to London to a prestigious medical school where he is enrolled to finish his studies. At the train station he witnesses another group of soldiers attack and beat the train's conductor and engineer. The attacks are filled with screams and rifle butts. Damien returns to the village and joins the armed resistors.

From then on we're in the middle of a rag-tag guerilla war, driven by a stern sense of justice and a determination to force the British out of Ireland. The British use wide-spread intimidation, brutality, imprisonment and executions by courts martial. Some of the men we've met die, British soldiers die, hostages die, traitors die, a young friend of Damien's who gave information is executed by Damien. He slowly moves from a reluctant fighter to a man who has become single-minded in what he does. When a truce is declared and a peace treaty is finally agreed upon in 1922 between the British Government and Sinn Fein, the stark reality of compromise splits the fighters. On the one hand, there will be an Irish Free State with British troops withdrawn.
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68 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Linda D. Meyer on April 25, 2007
Format: DVD
After visiting Ireland nearly three years ago I undertook an exhaustive study of Michael Collins, the Irish War of Independence and the Civil War. I was finally able to see this movie after waiting anxiously since it took Cannes. I was not disappointed. I went with my husband who is not the fan I am and he was impressed as well. The acting is superb, even the flubs, and the photography, (and, of course, Ireland)is stunning. What I would most like to interject into the reviews is that the movie was an exceedingly accurate representation of the Irish situation as it was at that time. (Though I liked the movie Michael Collins, I could not say the same about it in its details.) I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand the various sides to the issues which the Irish, the British, the pro-treatyites and the Republicans confronted at that time.
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64 of 73 people found the following review helpful By MICHAEL ACUNA on March 17, 2007
"The Wind that Shakes the Barley," (from an old Irish revolutionary song) Ken Loach's uncompromising, tragic film begins in chaos: a group of young Irish men are playing a rough and tumble game of hurling while the referee yells and threatens to stop the game or eject one player or another out of the game. It's all very testosterone fueled: men at play, having fun, taking it all too seriously. In the next scene, these same men arrive at a shocking scene at the home of one of them: English Black and Tans (the occupying soldiers sent from England to stamp out the crackling embers of Irish independence), thuggish and cruel and intent on demeaning the Irish, are taunting a house of women and upon spying the young men with hurling sticks, the B&T's demand that they stand up against the house and give their names in English (not Gaelic). One man refuses to speak English. He is killed.
And so begins this shocking, mesmerizing film about a County Cork rebellion against the British, circa 1920-1922 and zeroes in on two brothers Damien (a sensitive, intelligent, driven Cillian Murphy of "28 Days Later"), trained as a doctor who feels that, instead of pursuing his life long dream of working in London, chooses instead to stay home and fight the good fight. Damien's brother Teddy (Padraic Delaney in a fueled-by-fire performance...his first movie), a big man strangling under the iron grip of the British. The Cain and Abel story is recalled here as it is in a number of Motion Pictures including "East of Eden," as Damien and Teddy eventually have a moral and political parting of the ways and find themselves on opposite sides of the Anglo Irish Treaty of 1920.
Loach's films are all about making the political personal and the personal political and "TWTSTB" is no exception.
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71 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Donegal Dan on September 7, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I looked forward to this film as I do to any that attempts to shed light on the struggle of the Irish for freedom from England. The movie is beautiful cinematically and the acting very convincing, although I did think Cillian Murphy somewhat miscast as Damien, the young doctor who is reluctantly converted to the IRA cause by the British brutality he witnesses. However, overall I found the movie disappointing for somewhat the same reasons as reviewer Pouliot. If the viewer does not have a pretty good background in Irish history, especially of the 1910-1922 years, he is likely to have difficulty understanding what is going on and why. The film is narrowed so sharply to one small group of guerilla fighters in Cork County that I don't know how an average viewer could put the action in perspective with the 1916 Easter rebellion, the nationwide struggle going on, the direction and control being exercised by IRA leaders in Dublin and the overall scope of the fight against the British. The biggest plus of this film, to my mind, and it is a very big plus, is that it shows graphically the kind of savagery being engaged in by the British soldiers (the "black and tans" who were sent in to support the regular British forces in Ireland) and the galvanizing effect it had on the Irish populace. It also shows the tragedy that befell Ireland when the independence movement came apart after the Treaty was signed and the die-hard Republicans refused to support the new Irish Free State, feeling that it was a sell-out to accept anything but complete freedom for the whole island. The movie does a good job of showing how the two sides could differ so drastically and still each have legitimate reasons for taking the stance they did.Read more ›
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