Although I have always been interested in Ireland (i.e. I would love to visit) and other countries/cultures/languages in general, The Wind That Shakes the Barley pulls that interest to the surface. For instance, at Wabash's Celebration of Student Research, last Friday, I was excited when I realized that there was going to be a presentation on Irish music, and I promptly attended it. The presenter spoke about Irish independence as a major theme in Irish music, and this was captivating to me. The song "Zombie," by The Cranberries, was particularly interesting, focusing on the beating of an Irishman (a teenager, I think) by British men; I learned that the song brought a moment of peace to Britain and Ireland and that everyone seems to want the war to be over. I admit that the first time I ever heard this song on the radio, I immediately changed the station. I did not understand the song or its context, and the characteristic ornamentation of Irish music was peculiar and uninteresting to me (also, I was quite young at the time). Lastly, I did not even realize that the song was performed by an Irish band! Thus, not only did The Wind That Shakes the Barley convince me to attend a presentation on Irish music, it also convinced me to rethink a song that had been erased from my memory, an indictment of British violence toward the Irish. What a powerful and informative film! It definitely goes in my "must buy" list.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
The Wind That Shakes the Barley: A Reflection
Ken Loach's The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) is a tragic, violent masterpiece. Like Thomas says, below, it is an incredible, historical portrayal of the violence associated with the Irish quest for Independence from Britain. Before watching this movie, I did not know much about the situation in Ireland. Now that I have seen the film, I have a newfound respect for the Irish and a hatred for the British soldiers involved in at least THIS particular series of battles (the battles in the film); just to clarify, I do not intend to generalize and say that all British soldiers (or British in general) are/were terrible, because I cannot rightly say that. In fact, I have some good friends in England.