Saturday, June 16, 2007
Ph.D. in Irish History required (and subtitles wouldn't hurt)
I know The Wind That Shakes the Barley won the coveted Palme d'Or at Cannes last year, but the judges must have had stronger stomachs than I. This is a neat concept for a movie about Irish freedom fighters, but they don't do much explaining about who or why they're fighting beyond the British are bad and the Irish want freedom. However, it takes us through a treaty that's made in 1920 that splits the Irish fighters into those that want peace at any cost (even false freedom) and those that want to keep fighting (Cillian Murphy being very pursuasive). This all would have been pretty interesting if they could have gotten beyond standard male pride and explained something about why they wanted the British to leave - like they were abusive and mean, or kept them poor, or didn't let them practice religious freedom. But most of that was left out of why they were fighting - knowing ahead of time might have helped. None of that really makes a difference because I would never see this movie again due to the incredibly awful nature of the violence and torture that goes on. They did a lot of scenes with people just shouting at each other incoherently and at the end someone would end up dead, fingernail-less, or bald. Very disturbing level of violence without the intellectual payout of what the bigger picture should be.
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