A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Difficult situations bring about difficult decisions: Violent acts, betrayals, and commitments come with terrible costs.
Violence & Scariness
Weapons include guns, knives, grenades, and pliers (for pulling out fingernails); battle scenes show injuries and bloody bodies; the films IRA heroes are shot at, tortured, and imprisoned by British soldiers -- their acts of vengeance, however righteous, never lead to victory, as they suffer emotionally afterward and the British maintain dominion.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief sex scene between the film's only couple is shot in shadows and accompanied by romantic piano.
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Lots of angry language, including more than 40 uses of "f--k," plus "s--t" and "s--te," "ass," "damn," "bastard," "bitch," and "whore."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Young men smoke cigarettes repeatedly; in bar scenes and during political meetings, characters drink liquor and ale.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this 1920s-set drama about the IRA will probably only interest older teens with an interest in history, since its mature subject matter includes dire violence and political discussion. The battle scenes include shootings and grenade explosions; bodies are explicitly injured, broken, and bloodied. Characters are tortured (screaming and beating sounds come from off screen, and fingernails are pulled out on screen) and executed via gunshots to the head and firing squad. A brief, tender, non-explicit love scene is mostly filmed in the shadows. British soldiers burn a house and beat up a young woman and cut off her hair. Brothers and friends have increasingly tense, loud arguments. Lots of cigarette smoking and plenty of swearing ("f--k," "s--te," "arse," etc.). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Viewers may well interpret this hard-hitting drama as an indictment of British colonialism -- as well an allegory for the United States' war in Iraq. When Loach accepted the Palme d'Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, he said, "Maybe if we tell the truth about the past, we tell the truth about the present." This hope works in several ways in The Wind that Shakes the Barley. As it tells the story of two Irish brothers caught up in the beginnings of the IRA (Irish Republican Army), the film also shows the many costs of war and oppression for fighters on all sides.
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Our Editors Recommend
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