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In the summer of 1920, the British Empire, the superpower of its day, came down hard on tiny Ireland and the Irish separatist movement. And Irish guerilla fighters — the Irish Republican Army — hit back hard in return.

A powerful new film by British director Ken Loach, "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," tells the story of that fight with deep sympathy for the Irish, and a political message for the American superpower today. It won top prize at Cannes. It's won the fury of British right-wingers.

This Hour On Point: director Ken Loach on power, resistance, and his film, "The Wind that Shakes the Barley."

Quotes from the Show:

"[The tile of the film] is a ballad written in the early part of the 19th century which refers back to the United Irishmen of the 1790s. I guess the wind is a metaphor for the people who can make the earth move." Ken Loach

"If you challenge the idea that the British empire was anything other than a charitable institution, then [the conservative British press] go for you because the notion that the empire is sunny benevolent is very dear to the right-wing hearts." Ken Loach

"It's really important that the British people acknowledge what their ruling class did over the centuries." Ken Loach

"I don't think anyone can understand [the Irish conflict] unless their family has been through it, and I think with Iraq, the Iraqis are the only ones who understand what's going on over there." Listener from Boston

"The moment we remove ourselves from international law, I think we're in trouble." Ken Loach

Guests:

Ken Loach, director of the new film "The Wind That Shakes the Barley."

This program aired on April 3, 2007.

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