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The Wind That Shakes the Barley Details


Two brothers are caught on differing sides of the battle for Irish freedom in this politically minded historical drama from veteran British filmmaker Ken Loach. It's 1920, and Damien O'Donovan (Cillian Murphy) has recently graduated from medical school. Damien plans to leave the small village in Ireland where he was born to take a job in London, much to the annoyance of his brother Teddy (Padraic Delaney), who is an Irish loyalist and wants to see the British stripped of their rule of his land. While visiting Peggy (Mary Riordan), a longtime friend of the family, Damien and Teddy witness a visit by "Black and Tans," British soldiers who supposedly keep the peace in Ireland; the soldiers turn violent and murder Michaeil (Lawrence Barry), Peggy's grandson, when they discover he only speaks Gaelic. Damien is radicalized by the event, and with Teddy joins the local chapter of the Irish Republican Army, who use violence to drive British troops out of the country. While the IRA is a poor and ill-equipped fighting force, their willingness to give their lives for their cause is taken very seriously by the British, who step up their reprisals against the locals; the Black and Tans even begin directing their violence and torture against women and children, including Damien's girlfriend, Sinead (Orla Fitzgerald). In 1921, Britain attempts to end the violence in Ireland by creating the Irish Free State, a compromise government which will give the Irish greater autonomy while Great Britain still retains final political control of the nation. Teddy sees this as a victory and believes it's an important first step to a truly free Ireland, but Damien sees the IRA's goal as nothing short of complete independence, and the brothers and allies soon become rivals in a battle neither side can win. The Wind That Shakes the Barley received the Golden Palm award as Best Picture at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:March 16, 2007


Awarded by
Satellite Awards Paul Laverty Best Original Screenplay 2006 Nominee
British Independent Film Awards Barry Ackroyd Best Technical Achievement 2006 Nominee
British Independent Film Awards Cillian Murphy Best Actor 2006 Nominee
London Film Critics Association Ken Loach Best British Director 2006 Nominee
British Independent Film Awards Ken Loach Best Director 2006 Nominee
London Film Critics Association Rebecca O'Brien British Producer of the Year 2006 Nominee


Cillian Murphy
as Damien O'Donovan
Liam Cunningham
as Dan
Padraic Delaney
as Teddy
Orla Fitzgerald
as Sinead
Mary Riordan
as Peggy
Mary Murphy
as Bernadette
Lawrence Barry
as Micheail
Damien Kearney
Myles Horgan
as Rory
Martin Lucey
as Congo
Aidan O'Hare
as Steady Boy
Shane Casey
as Kevin
John Crean
as Chris
Keith Dunphy
as Terence
Kieran Hegarty
as Francis
Gerard Kearney
as Donacha
Shane Nott
as Ned
Kevin O'Brien
as Tim
Owen Buckley
as Volunteer
Vince Hannington
as Volunteer
Denis Kelleher
as Volunteer
Colin McClery
as Volunteer
John Quinlan
as Volunteer
Peggy Lynch
as Singer at Wake
Noel O'Donovan
as Station Guard
Barry Bourke
as Policeman
Frank O'Sullivan
as Man in Pub
Corina Gough
as Woman in Search
Roger Allam
as Sir John Hamilton
Sabrina Barry
as Julia
William Ruane
as Johnny Gogan
Peg Crowley
as Elderly Woman
Fiona Lawton
as Lily
Clare Dineen
as Mrs. Rafferty
Sean McGinley
as Father Denis
Tomas Ohealaithe
as Boy on Bike
Denis Conway
as Priest
Barry Looney
as Member of Ceilidh Band
Aine O'Connor
as Member of Ceilidh Band
Frances O'Connor
as Member of Ceilidh Band
Alan Ready
as British Soldier Sergeant at Station
Christopher Brown
as British Soldier
Mark Bryce
as British Soldier
Jonny Holmes
as British Soldier
Allan Huntley
as British Soldier
Bill Hurst
as British Soldier
Daniel Kington
as British Soldier
Anthony Martin
as British Soldier
Owen McQuade
as British Soldier
Richard Oldham
as British Soldier
Colin Parry
as British Soldier
Scott Peden
as British Soldier


Ken Loach
Rebecca O'Brien
Paul Laverty
Barry Ackroyd
George Fenton
Composer (Music Score)
Jonathan Morris
Fergus Clegg
Production Designer
Mark Lowry
Art Director
Michael Higgins
Art Director
Redmond Morris
Nigel Thomas
Executive Producer
Ulrich Felsberg
Executive Producer
Paul Trijbits
Executive Producer
Brendan McCarthy
Executive Producer
Mark Woods
Executive Producer
Andrew Lowe
Executive Producer
Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh
Costume Designer
Ray Beckett
Sound/Sound Designer
Kevin Brazier
Sound/Sound Designer
David Gilchrist
First Assistant Director
Jeremy Gee
Camera Operator
Paul Heasman
Marc Cass
Carol Moorhead
Production Manager
Oonagh Kearney
Cathy Mooney
Production Coordinator
Pat Redmond
Special Effects Supervisor
Orla Carroll
Hair Styles
Noel Walsh
Properties Master
Lyn Johnston
Susanna Lenton
Script Supervisor
Georg Nonnenmacher
Ger Scully
Costumes Supervisor