THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY
Truncated Bloody Revolution
Release Date: March 16, 2007
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Padraic
Delaney, Liam Cunningham, Orla
Fitzgerald, Mary Riordan, Mary
Murphy, and Laurence Barry
Genre: Historical Drama/Propaganda
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 126 minutes
Distributor: IFC's First Take/IFC
Director: Ken Loach
Executive Producer: Ulrich Felsberg, Andrew Lowe,
Nigel Thomas, and Paul
Producer: Rebecca O'Brien
Writer: Paul Laverty
Address Comments To:Joshua Sapan, President/CEO
Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc.
(Independent Movie Channel/IFC Films/IFC's First Take/Bravo Networks)
200 Jericho Quadrangle
Jericho, NY 11753
Phone: (516) 803-3000
Fax: (516) 803-4616
THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY is an Irish movie that tells about two brothers caught up in the Irish rebellion against the British in the early 1920s. Damien, played by Cillian Murphy, is studying to be a doctor. Teddy is an IRA commander. One day after a field hockey game, they are harassed by a group of thuggish, imperialist British soldiers who kill one of their members for giving his name in Gaelic. Teddy asks Damien when he's going to stand up for the revolution. Soon, they are hauled off and thrown into prison. In one of the meanest scenes in film history, Teddy's fingernails are pulled out gruesomely. This causes Damien to join the IRA. They find the traitor, a young boy, and Damien shoots him. They also shoot the local British landlord.
The war with the British rages and, eventually, they liberate their village. Some of them want to raise the green flag of Ireland. Others want to raise the red flag of Communism. When the revolutionary council convicts a local loan shark for gouging a poor old peasant woman, Teddy sets him free. Teddy says they need his money to buy arms. Teddy says he's a republican, to which Damien replies that he's a democrat. They are not referring to American political parties. They are referring to political philosophies. Republicans fought for freedom and, winning the battle, Ireland became one of the wealthiest countries in Europe. The democrats fought for radical socialism or Communism. Several of them, who are the heroes in the movie, make the case for abolishing private property, public ownership of everything, abolishing religion, and the other Marxist principles that destroyed Eastern Europe and led to the murder of more than 100 million people in a mere 50 years during the last century.
Eventually, when the republicans form a truce treaty with the British, the democrats are horrified. They don't want to be part of the Commonwealth, and they don't want to acknowledge the King. Damien leads some of the hardcore Red revolutionaries to continue the fight against their new oppressors, including his brother. He is captured, given a court martial, and executed.
In Loach's Marxist world, the Red Army are the heroes. Everyone else is a villain. The British, led by England, are mere caricatures. The audience never gets to know any one of the British soldiers. They attack, kill and torture. They use the "f" word constantly. The republicans are feeble, deluded loan sharks, quislings and oppressors. Also, in one scene, the Catholic priest defends capitalism and freedom, but the radical, democrat socialists in the church walk out on him. As Damien says walking out of the church service, "The Catholic Church is always on the side of the oppressors." This should come as a surprise to many Catholics who have given us saints such as Mother Teresa and many others who have fed the poor, the hungry, the sick, and the dying.
History doesn't matter very much for Mr. Loach. When this movie won the major award at the Cannes Film Festival, there was an uproar, with even Irish historians saying the events in the movie are portrayed inaccurately. This is not history. This is deceitful, anti-Christian, Communist propaganda. Thinking back to our own youth, it will appeal to young people without faith, who have a black and white radical view of the world. Damien is a powerful martyr for the Revolution. Most people over 24 will not see it because of the gruesome violence. The fact that it received the Cannes Film Festival prize tells us the Cannes Film Festival is even more goofy than the Oscars.
Now, for a little aside, the fact that Ireland has prospered more than almost any other country in Europe is because it has pursued free enterprise with a passion. Corporate taxes are low, people are free to pursue their dreams, and Ireland is one of the few countries which people want to move to instead of away from it. This capitalist environment is abhorrent to Ken Loach. He would like a Stalinist dictatorship of the proletariat, according to this movie. One can only wonder how much he hates the world to harbor this vision of repression. Please pray for Ken Loach.
The radicals are the heroes in this movie, which makes the case for abolishing private property, public ownership of everything, abolishing religion, and the other Marxist principles that destroyed Eastern Europe. Everyone else is a villain, and the British are mere caricatures. Also, when one priest defends capitalism and liberty, Damien says, "The Catholic Church is always on the side of the oppressors." The movie also contains extreme violence and lots of foul language.