My writings on The Wind That Shakes The Barley

Ok so this is an old film (2006) but with the week that’s in it, they showed it on TV last night. I don’t know why but I had never seen it before. It was brilliant. So I thought I’d include it in my reviews.

What’s it about?

The Wind That Shakes The Barley is an Irish war drama set during the Irish War Of Independence (1919-1922) and the Irish Civil War (1922-1923). It’s based on two brothers in Cork, Teddy (Padraig Delaney) and Damian (Cillian Murphy) O Donovan. The film captured my attention within the first two minutes when you see how horrific things were. A seventeen year old is executed because he will not say his name in English. Damian, a young doctor, is planning to leave for London while Teddy commands the local flying column of the Irish Republican Army. When Damian sees a British troop harass and intimidate a train driver and elderly railway guard because they are not allowed to board, he decides to stay and join the cause.

The film is mainly set on the War Of Independence and you see the men fighting together. Sadly by the end they are torn apart when they choose different sides of a Civil War. When a treaty is signed giving Ireland 26 out of 32 counties as a Republic, the Pro Treaty side believe this a great achievement and they can become stronger to fight for the other six counties. The Anti Treaty side believe they should not ave accepted anything less than an entire Irish Republic and as long as there was British still in Ireland they were not free. (These six counties are known as Northern Ireland and is part of the United Kingdom.)

This film is not a light or happy one, Irish history films rarely are. It shows a true representation of what went on, families were torn apart. It was a war and war tactics were used.

Should you watch it?

If you like to watch films on Irish history, yes. If you like war films in general yes. If you fancy Cillian Murphy yes.

This film received a great reception and won the Palme d’Or at the Canne Film Festival and up until 2011 it was the highest grossing Irish Independent film (until it was surpassed by The Guard- which you should watch too).

If you watch it please let me know what you think. If you would like me to do a list of Irish films I recommend you watch, let me know 🙂





Bré x






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