Monday, May 29, 2006

The Windfall that Shits on Britain

So Ken Loach, who sits on the national council of George Galloway's Respect coalition, has won the Cannes Palme d’Or for The Wind that Shakes the Barley.

After early screenings of the film in London, one critic asked: "Is this the most pro-IRA film ever?"
The British are depicted as sub-human mercenaries burning thatched cottages, torturing IRA volunteers by using pliers to rip out toe-nails and doing extreme violence to women in the backwaters of Ireland. The gunmen are seen in a more sympathetic - almost saintly - light.
The Guardian says it was "a shock result for a film that garnered only so-so reviews". What made the luvvies on the jury decide this average film was worthy of the top prize?
Loach and his screenwriter, Paul Laverty, wanted to expose the "true underbelly" of Britain's colonial past, a history that is repeating itself, they argue, in Iraq today.
Ah, that explains it.

The Wind that Shakes the Barley received €313,141 (approx £215,000) from the EU and £545,000 from the UK lottery fund.

Next year in selected cinemas - EU MEDIA and the UK Film Council proudly present Ken Loach's "7/7", the real story behind the four poor, brave Muslims who found glory by fighting evil British imperialism on the streets of London.


Anonymous Paul said...

How about a film that showed at least some British soldiers and Black & Tans as brave and decent, while also portraying some IRA gunmen as criminal psychopaths? That would be REALLY radical and counter-zeitgeist... Of course, I'm not holding my breath...

11:38 am  
Anonymous Clematis Fraud said...

Who, frankly, gives a toss apart from a coterie of onanistic, politically motivated Hampstead luvvies?

Moviegoers don't. They're all watching The Da Vinci code instead.

3:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to know that the Hamstead luvvies are subsidised by hapless lottery players & taxpayers generally.

4:58 pm  
Anonymous Chet said...

The I R A is the answer to a psychopath's dreams. You get to kill people with the tacet approval of half the population.

11:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually the way it is described here makes it sound great. For years I have fantasised about the UK security forces being turned loose by the girly-man politicos to ensure the bog-trotters hear the smack of firm government 4 miles away on a clear night.

By the sound of it, the wretched Loach has provided me with just what I've been wanting to see all these years...

12:34 am  
Blogger Charles Martel said...

my family in ireland were directly affected by the black'n'tans.

although i disagree, fundementally, with Loaches terrible, gut-wrenching comparision of the IRA in the 1920s to the headchoppers of modern Iraq - what British folks need to face up to is that the Tans were a bunch of murderous thugs.

that is a fact.

we Irish werent any better - but hey, thats called war.

I'm sure, George Washington wasnt exactly a nice guy either.

Sidenote - when Michael Collins was asked about all the English news reports , declaring him a "terrorist" - he replied "yeah sure - of course i want them to think i'm a terrorist - thats the whole point. to terrorist the British Empire into leaving Ireland"

at least the Irish were honest about it. Unfortunately, the likes of Ken Loach arent.

War sucks no matter what side you are on. Just ask me , my relatives and anyone else involved, on both sides, in that sorry piece of 1920s history. it was godawfully brutal.

some folks dress it up and make hay out of it - i dont. it was war. and thats about it. comparisons to the present time are inaccurate and downright unfair.

12:58 am  
Blogger Charles Martel said...

"How about a film that showed at least some British soldiers and Black & Tans as brave and decent, while also portraying some IRA gunmen as criminal psychopaths?"

impossible. the Tans really were a bunch of psychopaths. they were a mixture of criminals and ex-shell shocked frontline WW1 soldiers. a pretty brutal bunch,

rewriting history just to suit your views smacks of Goebbels and does noone any favours.

the queston you should be asking is why the hell they were let loose on the civillian population of Ireland. and why has that era of history been brushed under the carpet in England, and yet its still , to this day, so vivid in Ireland?

If you cant face up to that, you're as bad as a German not facing up to the S.S.

i'm not saying that Michael Collins was a saint either. but lets gets some factual history back into the equation - despite Ken Loaches "iraq head-chopping islamist war = irish independence war" sickening equivalence game.

1:04 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'we Irish werent any better'

er nope you sure werent. when do we get to see that enlightening film? particularly the one drawing the dotted line from ira to modern day terror.

11:18 am  
Anonymous Paul said...

I'm not trying to deny the counter-productive brutality of the Tans and Auxies, merely making the point that Loach seems to be engaging in a fairly two dimensional retelling of the "mythologised" version of the Anglo-Irish War, one especially in keeping with the reflexive self loathing of the bien-pensant leftie of which he is such a self parodic example. (And yes, I acknowledge I haven't seen the film yet)
"The Tans really were a bunch of psychpaths" - yes, they were violent and undisciplined, but is your sweeping statement true or just part of the myths that have grown up around these events? No one has ever told their story, as far as I know; a truly radical film maker, as opposed to one who merely rehashes trendy received opinion, would be interested in exploring this (and no, not merely in order to do a whitewash job)
BTW, the Goebbels and SS remarks are way over the top; after all, there were no Oradours or Malmedys in Ireland, were there?
These were complex events, with atrocities on both sides; Loach's prism of unquestioning anti_Britishness doesn't help anyone come to an understanding of them.

4:03 pm  
Anonymous Paul said...

PS Charles, in case you get the wrong idea, I like your blog and have it saved in my Favourites!

4:05 pm  
Blogger Charles Martel said...

paul -> may i direct you to two of the bigger events

the croke park massacre

and the burning of cork city, the sacking & burning of Tuam , Trim, Balbriggan, Thurles

a lot went on. an awful lot. and its not a myth.

"the Goebbels and SS remarks are way over the top"

i didnt mean to compare the British to the Nazis - i was merely making the comparision of facing up to past wrongs. and the clearest analogy would be a German refusing to face up to the atrocities of HIS history. but i apologise for any offense caused.

"Loach's prism of unquestioning anti_Britishness doesn't help anyone come to an understanding of them. "

it annoys the hell out of me. his comparision of the Irish independence war to present day Iraq absolutely infuriated me. As if Michael Collins etc could in any way be equated to the likes of nihilist Islamofascist Al Zaqwari and his Al Qaeda gang. It shows a fundemental and total lack of understanding of both Irish nationalism and Islamism.

and in case people get the wrong idea , i'm not a Sinn Fein/PIRA supporter. their just a bunch of murderous fascist thugs.

8:11 pm  
Anonymous Paul said...

Points taken and appreciated Charles!

9:11 pm  
Blogger AntiCitizenOne said...

When you remove the choice aspect from individuals and then fund anything by extortion, you allways attract lefties who 's work could not exist otheriwse.

10:54 am  
Blogger Eric said...

The bigger point here is that the film industry has found itself infatuated with terrorism of all stripes. Fahrenheit 9/11? That one got the Palme d'Or, as well. Like the Nobel Peace Prize committee, they're less concerned with recognizing true achievement than they are with promoting their political agenda.

7:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As it happens the Black and Tans have had a lot of coverage in England. For example "the Troubles" was a TV series from long ago that devoted about one episode to those events and it didn't try to "varnish" the truth. If most people in England don't know about those events, it isn't because of some prevailing narrative crowding out the truth. On the contrary most English people know little history full stop. The only history they get taught, either via school or via the media is overwhelmingly sympathetic to the Irish narrative.

This is one of those left wing shibboleths. The fact that many English are unable to reel off their crimes, is taken to mean that they approve of them. Group-think engenders group-guilt.

English people are also ignorant of the fact that the "English" part of Ireland was the Pale around Dublin rather than Northern Ireland; that reform of the power of the House of Lords in 1911 was mainly due to repeated rejections of Liberal Home Rule Acts; that prior to the Great War, one such Act was finally passed but suspended until the end of hostilities in spite of two efforts to implement the Act, in May 1916 and during 1917-1918. In particular English people are completely ignorant of the reasons for these failures: namely that the Irish sides (Nationalist/Unionist) could not agree terms for the temporary or permanent exclusion of Ulster.

In contrast, in Ireland, most people seem to prefer to remember the horrors of the Black and Tans than to discuss the contemporary civil war, which was also pretty bitter. I am continuely amazed at the attitude displayed by most Irish people I meet, that assumes some overwhelming desire amongst the English to cling to northern Ireland. Such people find it hard to square this simplistic image with the English's virtually universal loathing of Ian Paisley, which has been displayed since the 1960s.

I never thought this before today, but I wonder what a pro Black and Tan narrative might be like. I mean, I have never read or heard a single word spoken in their defence. Not one, and I consider myself pretty well read. Although that fact makes me curious, I certainly wouldn't like to to be the fool that took on the case.

11:46 pm  

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