Thursday, July 23, 2015


Ken Loach is an English director, but his earlier film, THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY, and now JIMMY'S HALL, are two of the best films ever made about Ireland and the Irish, for my taste. THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY (which I posted about here when it came out) tells the story of Ireland during the early days of it's final fight for independence from England and the troubles that follow most revolutions (in this case the Irish Civil War of the early 1920s).

JIMMY'S HALL is part of the story of what followed in the 1930s, as told through the character of Jimmy Lanford, a man who had broken the hold of the Catholic Church and the English overlords—at least in his little part of Ireland—through education and music and had to flee to New York when forces in the IRA joined with the church to install a new oppressiveness. JIMMY'S HALL tells what happens when he returns several years later and attempts the same thing.

In a way it's the story of many parts of the world in that period when socialism was still supported by a lot of working people and the forces of conservatism in religion and politics and business were colluding to invent new ways to divide working people into feuding factions that they could then control. I loved the acting and directing, the camera work and the accents of people who sound like those I know and in some cases am related to still in Ireland.

Well worth watching.

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