Sunday, January 27, 2008

"The Wind that Shakes the Barley", War, and "Red Dawn"

The first thing that struck me about Loach’s “The Wind that Shakes the Barley” is the overall tone of the Irish revolutionaries. What made it seem so familiar was the connection between the fleeting militia in this movie, as well as (pretty much) the same characters in one of my favorite cult classics, “Red Dawn”. These two movies illustrated a great point for me. It seems as if anytime there is a foreign invader, the safest thing to do would be to leave civilization and go into the wild. Both of these movies have men that want to fight, but first must flee into the wild to establish themselves as soldiers.

However, what makes “The Wind” different is the fact they the Irish revolutionaries get caught by the British army. From there, everything begins to spiral in a different direction. It was difficult to watch the movie after they killed Chris for ratting on the men. It is hard to think it was truly necessary to kill a kid (who could not have been older than fifteen) who was practically forced into giving away his friends’ location. Nevertheless, this scene gives you a better understanding of what war can do to men. After Damien kills Chris, Finbar says, “We've just sent a message to the British cabinet that will echo and reverberate around the world! If they bring their savagery over here, we will meet it with a savagery of our own!”. Savagery should not be an answer, but these boys almost feel that it is the only way to send a message to their British colonizers. Because of this, war changes the boys to become animals, as seen in the final scene between Damien and Teddy. Teddy knows what he is doing is wrong, but the war has changed him to believe that there is nothing worse than British control of Ireland. The war also changes Damien as his gives his life to his goal of a free Ireland.

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