Loach: "Ireland like Iraq"
by Camillo de Marco
18/05/2006 - Before heading to the Croisette, Ken Loach passed through Rome to present a new collection of his DVDs, distributed by daily newspaper Liberazione. Said Loach: "Being at Cannes is good, but it’s important that people love your film in Rome, Cannes and everywhere else. Taking the film to the festival is wonderful but also rather tiring, because people talk too much there. After spending three days in Cannes you have to withdraw to a Trappist monastery to recover".
“Red Ken” returns to Cannes today, and the competition, with The Wind That Shakes the Barley [trailer, film focus], a film that recounts the story of two brothers during Ireland’s battle for independence in the 1920s. "The title is the verse of an Irish ballad, written at the end of the 18th century when the Irish began their fight to drive out the English. It’s a song that praises the resistance".
This is Loach’s first historical film since 1995’s Land and Freedom. "I think we have to know the past to understand the present. Just like the Spanish civil war, even the fight for Irish independence was a very critical and crucial moment in the history of a country that like many others tried to liberate itself form the yoke of foreign occupation. Often, history retraces its footsteps and perhaps certain current situations can be better understood if we look back to past events. Just the like present occupation of Iraq, which is very different in many ways but similar in the principal desire of the occupied: to drive out the Americans and the English".
(Translated from Italian)