Cannes: Ken Loach’s film on Irish fight against UK colonialism wins first prize

This video is the trailer of the film The Wind That Shakes The Barley.

The BBC reports:

Loach film wins top Cannes prize

British director Ken Loach‘s The Wind That Shakes The Barley has won the Palme d’Or – the top prize at the Cannes film festival.

The film, about Ireland’s struggle for independence, beat 19 others to the prestigious prize.

Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai, who led the jury, said his panel had looked for films which reflected “compassion, hope, bonding and solidarity”.

Other jurors included actors Tim Roth, Samuel L Jackson and Monica Belluci.

Wong said the jury’s desicion had been a unanimous one.

British actress Helena Bonham Carter, who was also on the jury, said Loach’s film “hit us all profoundly”.

“It was one of five films about war and it was a fantastic education about the Irish problem,” she added.

“There was a tremendous humanity. I can’t explain our mass reaction but we were all profoundly moved.”

‘Wonderful festival’

Loach, 69, has said the film, which describes the early days of the IRA in the 1920s from an Irish perspective, is also a critique of the US-led invasion of Iraq.

“Maybe if we tell the truth about the past, maybe we tell the truth about the present,” he said as he accepted the award.

“Our film is a little, a very little step in the British confronting their imperialist history,” he said.

28 Days Later star Cillian Murphy leads the cast, which also includes Padraic Delaney, Liam Cunningham and Orla Fitzgerald.

Loach has been nominated for the Palme d’Or on seven previous occasions, but this is the first time he has won the main prize.

See also here.

And here.

Loach interview: here.

Loach‘s film Cathy Come Home and homelessness in Britain: here.

The Tragedy of Michael Collins: here.

The uprising of Irish Catholics in October 1641 followed decades of tension with English Protestant settlers and many thousands of men, women and children lost their lives: here.

17 thoughts on “Cannes: Ken Loach’s film on Irish fight against UK colonialism wins first prize

  1. 23/02/2005 Irish News
    NI human rights chief launches scathing attack on Blair govt

    The outgoing head of Northern Ireland’s Human Rights Commission has launched a scathing attack on the British government.

    In a letter to Northern Secretary Paul Murphy, Professor Brice Dickson accused Tony Blair’s Labour government of paying lip service to human rights.

    He said Britain had failed to give his commission proper powers, had run down its numbers and had ignored or rejected its recommendations.

    Professor Dickson accused the British government of obstructing inquiries into Bloody Sunday and the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane, of tolerating republican and loyalist punishment attacks and of failing to support prisoners and young people with mental problems in the North.

    Britain’s Northern Ireland Office rejected the accusations, claiming they were incomplete and partial.


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