The Wind That Shakes the Barley
- 2 hr 7 min
The Wind that Shakes the Barley is the story of two brothers and their struggles as they end up on opposing sides during the Irish War of Independence in the early 20th Century. It is a historical film with political overtones. One of the brothers, Damien, is intent on becoming a doctor and leaving Ireland for a new life. Teddy is the leader of the local IRA brigade and is opposed to his brother leaving. He urges Damien to join in the fight against British rule. An inciting incident in the film occurs when Damien and Teddy witness the murder of a close friend of the family by British troops. This brings Damien over to Teddy's side and he joins him in the newly formed Irish Republican Army to drive the British out of Ireland. Damien soon adopts the violent ways of his brother and the IRA as he now believes this is the only way to end the suffering of the Irish people. Damien's girlfriend, Sinead is eventually captured and tortured by the British occupiers. Before Damien can retaliate however, a treaty is agreed upon which makes Southern Ireland fully independent of Britain but establishes the country of Northern Ireland as a part of the United Kingdom. The treaty again splits the two brothers. Teddy is content with the result, seeing it as a good beginning, while Damien believes that the IRA has been undermined by the British. Damien vows to fight until the British have left Ireland completely. This decision proves in the end to be a fateful one as he is again drawn into a final conflict with his brother Teddy. The Wind that Shakes the Barley is directed by Ken Loach and stars Cillian Murphy, Padraic Delaney, Liam Cunningham and Orla Fitzgerald. The film has a run time of 127 minutes.