Posted by: kfugrip | March 29, 2007


Number 42 in my quest for 104 is The Wind That Shakes the Barley, by Ken Loach, a masterpiece of social and emotional film-making. This movie, and my reaction to watching it, changed my rating of Zodiac by making it a 4 star movie, from a 5 star one. The Wind… is the story of two brothers and their involvement in the Irish revolution and how the treaty of 1921 (please correct me if I’m wrong about the date) ripped them apart like it did most of the country.

I am a fan of Loach and the few films of his that I’ve seen were all good. Kes has been on my list of movies to watch for quite some time. I am aware of, and agree with, the social bent of Loach’s films and this film in particular is of a subject matter that interests me. The “troubles” in Ireland are rife with dramatic possibilities and devolving into a brother-versus-brother scenario was an interesting and compelling twist (if you can call it a twist). This is not a film only about the troubles, but a film about how being pushed to fight for the well-being of the people you love and the country you live in can destroy you.

At the film’s heart is an emotional core that leads, like all good drama, towards it’s surprising and inevitable end. Why did this change my rating of Zodiac? The answer is that there is an emotional center in this film that is nonexistent in Zodiac. That doesn’t make Zodiac a bad film it only made me realize that for a film to be 5 stars it must be more than an intellectual piece, it must also affect my emotions.

It’s difficult for me to describe the film, which is a boon on my writing ability, but it’s the truth. I loved it and it makes me want to be a better person and to make films. What better compliment can a work of art receive?

5 stars.




  1. I agree. The only real criticism I had of Zodiac was that it was too cold. It had no heart. Still damn good, though.

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