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THE WIND THAT
SHAKES THE BARLEY
USA: IFC First Take
UK: Pathe Distribution
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Padraic Delaney, Liam Cunningham, Orla Fitzgerald, Mary O'Riordan, Mary Murphy, Fiona Lawton, Roger Allam, Laurence Barry, Damien Kearney, Frank Bourke, Myles Horgan, Martin Lucey, Aidan O'Hare, Shane Casey, John Crean, Mairtin de Cogain, Keith Dunphy, Kieran Hegarty, Gerard Kearney, Shane Nott, Kevin O'Brien, Gary McCarthy, Tim O'Mahon, Graham Browne, Owen Buckley, Aidan Fitzpatrick, Vince Hannington, Denis Kelleher, Colin McClery, Finbar O'Mahon, John Quinlan, Peggy Lynch, Noel O'Donovan, Peter O'Mahoney, Barry Bourke, Frank O'Sullivan, Diarmuid Ó'Dalaigh, Corina Gough, Roger Allam, Sabrina Barry, William Ruane, Dan O'Riordan, Peg Crowley, Fiona Lawton, Kieran Aherne, Clare Dineen, Sean McGinley, Tomas OhEalaithe, Nora Lynch, Diarmuid Ni Mheachair, Denis Conway, Barry Looney, Connie O'Connail, Aine O'Connor,Francis O'Connor, Peadr O'Riada, Neil Brand, Tom Charnock, Alan Ready, Mark Wakeling, Anthony Byrne, Marcus Anthony, Bill Armstrong, Christopher Bown, Mark Bryce, Alex Dee, Jonny Holmes, Allan Huntley, Bill Hurst, Daniel Kington, Jamie Lomas, Anthony Martin, Owen McQuade, Richard Oldham, Colin Parry, Scott Peden, Bernie Sweeney, Derek Taylor, Neil Alan Taylor, Gregor Wood
Director: Ken Loach
Countries: Ireland / UK / Germany / Italy / Spain
USA: 124 mins
UK: 127 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language and violence
USA Release Date: 16 March 2007 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 23 June 2006
''Twas hard for mournful words to frame
To break the ties that bound us,
Ah but harder still to bear the shame
Of foreign chains around us.
And so I said: the mountain glen
I'll seek at morning early
And join the brave united men
While soft winds shake the barley.'
Robert Dwyer Joyce (1830 - 1883) "The Wind that Shakes the Barley"
The English ruling class first invaded Ireland in the twelfth century, when feudal barons staked out their territory. Over the centuries English landlords grew rich at the expense of the Irish people.
A settler population to rule on behalf of the English was established and penal laws kept the Irish in subservience. As well as taxes and rents, Ireland supplied England with farm produce and cheap labour. Famine, evictions and poverty were the lot of Ireland's rural population.
The United Irishmen fought for their country's independence in the wake of the French Revolution. In the nineteenth century the Fenian Brotherhood took up the struggle. Then in the early years of the twentieth century the movement would no longer be denied, though it was fought at every turn by the British establishment.
Ireland 1920: workers from field and country unite to form volunteer guerrilla armies to face the ruthless "Black and Tan" squads that are being shipped from Britain to block Ireland's bid for independence.
Driven by a deep sense of duty and a love for his country, Damien (Cillian Murphy) abandons his burgeoning career as a doctor and joins his brother, Teddy (Padraic Delaney), in a dangerous and violent fight for freedom. As the freedom fighters' bold tactics bring the British to breaking point, both sides finally agree to a treaty to end the bloodshed. But, despite the apparent victory, civil war erupts and families, who fought side by side, find themselves pitted against one another as sworn enemies, putting their loyalties to the ultimate test.