I had a phase when I was very into the Irish nationalist movement and at the heart of that was the I.R.A. The Wind That Shakes the Barley concerns the formation of that group circa 1920 and I found it riveting from start to finish (check out May 2007 archives for long review). I never thought I’d witness something that was so honest, intelligent and sympathetic to the I.R.A. but this film is all of those things.
Ken Loach, a bit of a rabble-rouser as a filmmaker, is the perfect person to tell this story of two brothers who get caught up in the struggles against the English. The film is not only gripping, it is lush as all get out—it is set in Ireland after all. Green everywhere. The Wind That Shakes the Barley is like watching a dream come true for me--damn English!