Irish Classic: The Wind that Shakes the Barley

Ireland, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, 2006

Director: Ken Loach; screenplay: Paul Laverty; cinematography: Barry Ackroyd; production design: Fergus Clegg; editing: Jonathan Morris; music: George Fenton; casting: Oonagh Kearney; producers: Paul Kennedy, Jon Silk , Jon Silk; production companies: Sixteen Films, Element Films, Bianca Film, EMC Assett Management, Tornasol Films; Italian distribution: BIM. Irish location: Co. Cork, Co. Kerry

Running time: 121’

With Cillian Murphy, Pádraic Delaney, Liam Cunningham, Orla Fitzgerald, Mary Riordan, Mary Murphy, Laurence Barry, Roger Allam, Sean McGinley


Ireland 1920: workers from field and country unite to form volunteer guerrilla armies to face the ruthless Black and Tan squads that are being shipped from Britain to block Ireland’s bid for independence. Driven by a deep sense of duty and a love for his country, Damien abandons his burgeoning career as a doctor and joins his brother, Teddy, in a dangerous and violent fight for freedom. As the freedom fighters’ bold tactics bring the British to breaking point, both sides finally agree to a treaty to end the bloodshed. But, despite the apparent victory, civil war erupts and families, who fought side by side, find themselves pitted against one another.


Ken Loach was born in 1936 in Nuneaton, England. He attended King Edward VI Grammar School and went on to study law at St. Peter’s Hall, Oxford. After a brief spell in the theatre, Loach was recruited by the BBC in 1963 as a television director. This launched a long career directing films for television and the cinema. In his long and award-winning filmography, two films are set in Ireland: The Wind that Shakes the Barley (Palm d’Or at Cannes Film Festival 2006) and Jimmy’s Hall (2014).