This film is Ken Loach’s impassioned study of Ireland’s freedom fighters in 1922. Workers from field to country unite to form volunteer Guerrilla armies to face the ruthless Black and Tan squads, who are blocking Ireland’s bid for Independence.
Driven by a deep sense of duty and a love for his country, Damien O’Sullivan (Cillian Murphy), abandons his burgeoning career as a doctor and joins his brother, Teddy (Padraic Delaney), and committed trade unionist Dan (Liam Cunningham) in a dangerous and violent fight for Ireland’s 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.
In this film Loach offers a powerful cinematic vision of Irish history, which focuses on questions of nation and revolution through the eyes of a community; and the film’s tale remains highly resonant throughout the world today.
Since first being released in 2006, ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’ has become a classic which holds the box office record for the highest-grossing Irish-made independent film.
This special screening will be Introduced by the Legendary Film Director of British Cinema, KEN LOACH.
About Film Director Ken Loach
Ken Loach is one of the most respected filmmakers and cinematic storytellers in Britain, renowned, from the early 60s, for creating a new kind of British Cinema, which gave voices to the unheard, the downtrodden, the poor and the dispossessed.
Known for making powerful, hard-hitting, socially and politically conscious films, which rile and rage against human injustice, the impact of Loach’s work over many decades has created major public and political debate, real social change and continues to create more human consciousness.
Ken Loach was born in 1936 in Nuneaton. He attended King Edward VI Grammar School and went on to study law at St. Peter’s Hall, Oxford. After a brief spell in the theatre, Loach was recruited by the BBC in 1963 as a television director. This launched a long career directing films for television and the cinema, from Cathy Come Home and Kes in the sixties to Land And Freedom, Sweet Sixteen, The Wind That Shakes The Barley (Palme d’Or, Cannes Film Festival 2006), Looking for Eric, The Angels’ Share and I, Daniel Blake (Palme d’Or, Cannes Film Festival 2016).
“For seven decades, Ken Loach has been a titan of filmmaking but more importantly, he constantly chooses extremely personal and powerful projects. Simply put, he has been one of the most important, collaborative and empathetic filmmakers in the world”
– Paul Moore. Irish Daily Mirror
Collaborators on ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’
Screenwriter Paul Laverty; Producer Rebecca O’Brien; Cinematographer Barry Ackroyd; Music George Fenton; Editor Jonathan Morris.
Production Companies ‘Sixteen Films’ & ‘Matador Pictures’
Distributed by Element Picture Dublin & Pathe Distribution UK.
The Irish Cultural Centre would like to thank everyone at ‘Sixteen Films’; Also thanks to Element Pictures for providing the film.
Awards for ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’:
Palme d’Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival
Best Film at the 4th Irish Film and Television Awards 2007
Best Supporting Actor at the 4th Irish Film and Television Awards 2007
Best Irish Film (Audience Award) at 4th Irish Film & TV Awards 2007
Best Cinematographer at the 19th European Film Awards 2006
To find out more about the history of the making of the The Wind That Shakes The Barley, click here.