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The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Great Britain/Ireland 2006. Dir: Ken Loach. 127 min. DCP

Veteran left-wing director Ken Loach’s incendiary drama, set during Ireland’s War of Independence and subsequent Civil War, won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2006. Cillian Murphy is young revolutionary Damien O’Donovan, who abandons a medical career to join his brother Teddy (Pádraic Delaney) in the battle against the British. When a divisive treaty with the Brits sparks civil war amongst the Irish, the brothers find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. Game of Thrones actor Liam Cunningham co-stars. The script is by Scottish screenwriter Paul Laverty, Loach’s regular partner since 1996’s Carla’s Song. “A sombrely beautiful dream of the violent Irish past ... Loach has made a film for our moment, a time of bewildering internecine warfare” (David Denby, The New Yorker). “Enthralling ... As alive and troubling as anything on the evening news, though far more thoughtful and beautiful” (A. O. Scott, New York Times).