The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2160x1023)
The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006) © Sixteen Films

ACMI presents

The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Ken Loach | Ireland, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, France | 2006 | M






ACMI Member



Sun 7 Jul - Fri 19 Jul 2024

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Cillian Murphy stars as a young doctor swept up in the Anglo-Irish War in Ken Loach's Palme d'Or-winning drama.

It is a finely made, finely acted piece of work. For this, and for his remarkable and uncompromising career, Loach deserves his golden palm.

Peter Bradshaw (Guardian)

Determined to leave Ireland to practice medicine in London, young doctor Damien O'Donovan (Cillian Murphy) finds himself under increasing pressure to stay in his homeland and fight with the IRA against British forces. After witnessing a series of indignities against his friends and countrymen, the tide within Damien turns and he finds himself fighting under the command of his brother.

Curator's Note

After two film projects collaborating with other filmmakers, Ken Loach returned with a solo-directorial project that would come to be one of the standout films in his oeuvre. The Wind That Shakes the Barley became almost universally acclaimed upon its release and received the coveted Palme d'Or prize upon its premiere at Cannes. The film also became Loach's biggest box office hit at the time.

Veering away from the social issues focus of many of his other films, The Wind That Shakes the Barley clicks in visually and thematically with his earlier acclaimed film Land and Freedom (1995). Both films deal with conflicts outside of Loach's native England, and both take the side of underdogs who through grassroots enlistment find themselves in extraordinary situations. Of Ken Loach, actor Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) once quipped: "It took an Englishman to come over to force me in the position to examine my own history."

– Reece Goodwin, Curator (Film & TV)

Format: DCP
Language: English, Irish Gaelic & Latin with English subtitles
Source: Park Circus
Courtesy: Park Circus
Runtime: 127 mins

Event duration

127 mins



Contains violence & coarse language


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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Focus on Ken Loach (Thu 4 July – Sun 21 July 2024)

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Focus on Ken Loach | 4–21 July 2024 Film Program
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