Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.
During the Depression, Jimmy Gralton returns home to Ireland after ten years of exile in America. Seeing the levels of poverty and oppression, the activist in him reawakens and he looks to re-open the dance hall that led to his deportation.
In 1920, rural Ireland is the vicious battlefield of republican rebels against the British security forces and Irish Unionist population who oppose them, a recipe for mutual cruelty. Medical graduate Damien O'Donovan always gave priority to his socialist ideals and simply helping people in need. Just when he's leaving Ireland to work in a highly reputed London hospital, witnessing gross abuse of commoners changes his mind. he returns and joins the local IRA brigade, commanded by his brother Teddy, and adopts the merciless logic of civil war, while Teddy mellows by experiencing first-hand endless suffering. When IRA leaders negotiate an autonomous Free State under the British crown, Teddy defends the pragmatic best possible deal at this stage. Damien however joins the large seceding faction which holds nothing less than a socialist republic will do. The result is another civil war, bloodily opposing former Irish comrades in arms, even the brothers.Written by
The title was taken from the poem The Wind that Shakes the Barley by 19th century poet Robert Dwyer Joyce: "But blood for blood without remorse // I've taken at Oulart Hollow // And laid my true love's clay-cold corpse // Where I full soon may follow //As 'round her grave I wander drear // Noon, night and morning early // With breaking heart when e'er I hear // The wind that shakes the barley". The poem is about a young man who joins the 1798 rebellion after his true love is killed. See more »
As the Black and Tans drive through the village, they pass a blue house with modern PVC windows. See more »
Promise me, Damien. Promise me you won't bury me next to him?
[points to Sir John]
The chapel. Do you remember, on the way up? Do you remember?
Tell Teddy I'm sorry. I'm scared, Damien.
Have you said your prayers?
God protect you.
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An excellent film that outlines that tragic period of Irish history. Anyone wanting to understand the modern day troubles in Ireland MUST see this film to get a better understanding of things. I Thoroughly enjoyed this film and there was hardly a dry eye in the house by the end. It shows how easily communities, indeed families, were torn apart by divisions over the best way forward to achieve Irish freedom and how desperate people were. This is a film that should have been made years ago and should be viewed with an open mind by those who are not from a nationalist background. These events did occur and the time for denial is now % !
A first class film.
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