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The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006)

Drama, War |

The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a war drama film directed by Ken Loach, set during the Irish War of Independence (1919–1921) and the Irish Civil War (1922–1923). Written by long-time Loach collaborator Paul Laverty, this drama tells the fictional story of two County Cork brothers, Damien O’Donovan (Cillian Murphy) and Teddy O’Donovan (Pádraic Delaney), who join the Irish Republican Army to fight for Irish independence from the United Kingdom.

The film takes its title from Robert Dwyer Joyce’s “The Wind That Shakes the Barley”, a song set during the 1798 rebellion in Ireland and featured early in the film. The film is heavily influenced by Walter Macken’s 1964 novel The Scorching Wind.

County Cork, Ireland, 1920. Dr. Damien O’Donovan is about to leave his native village to practise medicine in a London hospital. Meanwhile, his brother Teddy commands the local flying column of the Irish Republican Army. After a hurling match, Damien witnesses the summary execution of his friend, Micheál Ó Súilleabháin, by British Black and Tans. Although shaken, Damien rebuffs his friends’ entreaties to stay in Ireland and join the IRA, saying that the war is unwinnable. As he is leaving town, Damien witnesses the British Army vainly trying to intimidate a railway personnel for refusing to permit the troops to board. In response, Damien decides to stay and is sworn into Teddy’s IRA brigade.

After drilling in the mountains, the column raids the village’s Royal Irish Constabulary barracks to acquire revolvers, then uses them to assassinate four Auxiliaries. In the aftermath, Anglo-Irish landowner Sir John Hamilton coerces one of his servants, IRA member Chris Reilly, into passing information to the British Army’s Intelligence Corps. As a result, the entire brigade is arrested. In their cell, Damien meets the train driver, Dan, a union official who shares Damien’s socialist views.

Director: Ken Loach

Writer: Paul Laverty

Stars: Cillian Murphy, Pádraic Delaney, Liam Cunningham, Orla Fitzgerald, Mary O’Riordan, Mary Murphy, Laurence Barry


Cillian MurphyDamien
Pádraic DelaneyTeddy
Liam CunninghamDan
Orla FitzgeraldSinead
Mary O’RiordanPeggy (as Mary Riordan)
Mary MurphyBernadette
Laurence BarryMicheail
Damien KearneyFinbar
Frank BourkeLeo
Myles HorganRory
Martin LuceyCongo
Aidan O’HareSteady Boy
Shane CaseyKevin
John CreanChris
Máirtín de CógáinSean (as Mairtin de Cogain)
Keith DunphyTerence
Kieran HegartyFrancis
Gerard KearneyDonacha
Shane NottNed
Kevin O’BrienTim
Gary McCarthyVolunteer
Tim O’MahonVolunteer
Graham BrowneVolunteer
Owen BuckleyVolunteer
Aidan FitzpatrickVolunteer
Vince HanningtonVolunteer
Denis KelleherVolunteer
Colin McCleryVolunteer
Finbar O’MahonVolunteer
John QuinlanVolunteer
Peggy LynchSinger at Wake
Noel O’DonovanStation Guard
Peter O’MahoneyStoker
Barry BourkePoliceman
Frank O’SullivanMan in Pub
Diarmuid Ó’DálaighMan in Pub
Corina GoughWoman in Search
Roger AllamSir John Hamilton
Sabrina BarryJulia
William RuaneJohnny Gogan
Danny RiordanElderly Couple
Peg CrowleyElderly Couple
Fiona LawtonLily
Kieran AherneSweeney
Clare DineenMrs. Rafferty
Sean McGinleyFather Denis
Tomas OhEalaitheBoy on Bike
Nora LynchMother of Sick Child
Diarmuid Ní MheachairSick Child
Denis ConwayPriest
Barry L. LooneyCeilidh Band (as Barry Looney)
Connie O’ConnailCeilidh Band
Aine O’ConnorCeilidh Band
Francis O’ConnorCeilidh Band
Peadr O’RiadaCeilidh Band
Neil BrandNewsreel Piano Accompanist
Tom CharnockSergeant at Cottage
Alan ReadySergeant at Station
Mark WakelingLieutenant
Antony ByrneThe Interrogator
Anthony Mark StreeterBritish Soldier (as Marcus Anthony)
William ArmstrongBritish Soldier (as Bill Armstrong)
Christopher BownBritish Soldier
Mark BryceBritish Soldier
Alex DeeBritish Soldier
Jonny HolmesBritish Soldier
Allan HuntleyBritish Soldier
Bill HurstBritish Soldier
Daniel KingtonBritish Soldier
Jamie LomasBritish Soldier
Owen McQuadeBritish Soldier
Richard OldhamBritish Soldier
Colin ParryBritish Soldier
Scott PedenBritish Soldier
Bernie SweeneyBritish Soldier
Derek TaylorBritish Soldier
Neil Alan TaylorBritish Soldier
Gregor WoodBritish Soldier
Fergus BurkeTheater Attendee (uncredited)
Karl DawsonVolunteer (uncredited)
Niall McCarthyExtra (uncredited)
Siobhan McSweeneyJulia (uncredited)
Seamus MoynihanPoliceman (uncredited)

Sources: imdb & wikipedia

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