Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Wind That Shakes the Barley

My friend Lauri is a member of some film thing, and she gets to bring a guest to previews, so tonight I met her for a pre-screening of this movie. It's set in Ireland circa 1920 and deals with the Irish struggle for independence, and also the disagreement among Irish revolutionaries themselves over the course that independence should take. So first the British are the barbaric, cruel, arsehole dogs (there's a lovely scene involving a rusty-pliers manicure), then the Irish who agree to the treaty become the new oppressors, only they think they're doing what's best and realistic, and now THEY have to face the dilemma of squashing the uprising led by their former revolutionary friends. (Not so much fun to move into management, is it, lads?)

It's like a very green, very passionate version of Animal Farm, only with perfect complexions and accents that take you a good seven minutes' of dialogue to get the hang of.

It's also a good movie, if only to help us understand the early internal conflicts among Irish Republicans. To sum up the message:

War is bad.
Politics is complicated.
Irish mothers suffer.

Two things were distracting (well, other than the cringeworthy brutality): the lead character was the spitting image of the actor who plays Clark Kent in Smallville, except he was very, very thin (to underscore, perhaps, his learnedness), and an Irish song that the men kept singing sounded something like "Up She Rises," so after it was introduced I had "What do you do with a drunken sailor?" running through my head over and over.

1 comment:

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