THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY, winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival, begins innocuously: a group of young men play field hockey, slapping each on the back after a good play. The familiar green hills of Ireland roll picturesquely in the background. Nothing in the opening scene portends the violence that will shape each of these young men into revolutionaries.
But this is 1920s Ireland, a place infested by violence, and before we have even had time to distinguish between the young men, one of them is already dead, killed by British soldiers in front of his grandmother, his mother and his sister for nothing more than refusing to say his name.
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