Analysis Of The Wind That Shakes The Barley

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The Wind that Shakes the Barley is the title of a film released in 2006, directed by Ken Loach from a script by Paul Lafferty. Loach a veteran film director, scooped the Palme d’Or, the highest prize awarded, at the Cannes Film festival for the film. The film, set in Ireland, during 1919 and the early 1920’s, is a work of fiction that covers the historic events of the War of Independence and the Irish Civil War. The story centres on the O’Donovan brothers Damien and Teddy, who are Irish nationalists, involved in the fight for Irish independence from Britain. Whilst the film earned great accolades and reviews for Loach and even topped the Irish Box Office for the highest grossing independent Irish film (Irish Film Board, 2015), it was not without critics and detractors. The very nature of the issues tackled by the film, which explores Civil War politics in Ireland is thorny territory at best. Even in 21st Century Ireland many people would be reticent to engage in discussion of these difficult issues of Irish history, which have…show more content…
The most basic theme of good versus evil is driven from Loach’s ideological standpoint, where the misuse of power against the vulnerable is clearly seen in the early scenes of the film. Ireland is a country struggling to gain independence from an occupying British force and evil is clearly depicted by the brutality of the Black and Tans. This was a special British Army unit renowned for its cruelty, which was employed in Ireland to stamp out rebellion. This theme is further developed as the film moves to the historical signing of the Treaty of Independence in 1921. This agreement dissected the Republican movement with pro and anti-groups turning on each other. Under Loach’s direction the mantle of “bad” is passed to the pro-Treaty supporters, who on assuming rule, are portrayed as being corrupted by power and
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