Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Wind That Shakes the Barley - Ken Loach

 Ken Loach directs a war drama film set during 1919-1923: the Irish War of Independence and Civil War respectively. Two brothers (in real life, too) join the Irish Republican Army.

Released in 2006 this is the highest-grossing Irish independent film ever. It's difficult to say something when it's all been said elsewhere.

I think the most important thing is that I'll say it's good -- and that it is, it's a solid film: acting, performance, plot, and production The theme of two men fighting for different values running throughout the film is what makes it interesting, and more than a blockbuster -- for which it isn't. 

Loach's work centres around social realism, and that's the most important aspect of this drama. 

The film poses the questions: was the Irish a social revolution as opposed to a nationalist revolution? Here's what Loach says:
"Every time a colony wants independence, the questions on the agenda are: a) how do you get the imperialists out, and b) what kind of society do you build? There are usually the bourgeois nationalists who say, 'Let's just change the flag and keep everything as it was.' Then there are the revolutionaries who say, 'Let's change the property laws.' It's always a critical moment.
I can't recommend this film and Ken Loach's work enough.

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