I watched The Wind That Shakes the Barley at my university today. My professor really wants to kill me with these politically-charged leftist films. I loved the naturalistic and restrained approach in representing the stark time period (Ireland, 1920s). It was refreshing to see the struggle for socialism and economic justice within the context of anticolonial national liberation; the debate and critique of bourgeois nationalism was the most tense subplot for me.
Even though I’m not exactly familiar with the Irish independence movement, I couldn’t help but notice the parallels with the Puerto Rican nationalist struggle for independence during roughly the same time period: the violent depravity of the colonizing forces, the betrayal of a righteous cause by opportunists who wanted to line their pockets, the illusion of a “free state” under the dominion of the oppressor, compatriots killing each other to silence revolutionary voices. It’s no coincidence that Pedro Albizu Campos was an ardent supporter of Irish independence and applied a lot of its tenets to the context of the U.S. occupation of Puerto Rico.
Towards the end of the narrative, you want to see the revolutionary protagonists succeed and strive for freedom, but you know that history was not that compassionate. But still, muchas lecciones que aprender de Irlanda y de Borinquen.
Also, I can finally confirm that Cillian Murphy is the most beautiful man on Earth.