Filmmaker Ken Loach (The Wind That Shakes the Barley) returns to Ireland for the story of Jimmy Gralton (Barry Ward), a formerly “exiled” leftist who comes back to his rural home town in County Leitrim in the 1930s and immediately rouses the ire of the local Catholic clergy by opening a community center devoted to singing, dancing, and free thinking. In his usual straightforward, uncluttered style, Loach makes clear the divide between ordinary working people and the “masters and pastors” class, who fear the loss of control in the newly hatched “free Ireland.” The acting, especially by Ward and Simone Kirby (as Jimmy’s ex-sweetheart and kindred spirit), is first-rate and so is the politically energized screenplay by Paul Laverty, adapted from the play by Donal O’Kelly (106 min.).
Director: Ken Loach
Producer: Rebecca O'Brien
Cast: Barry Ward, Francis Magee, Aileen Henry, Simone Kirby, Stella McGirl, Sorcha Fox, Martin Lucey, Mikel Murfi, Shane O'Brien, Denise Gough, Jim Norton, Aisling Franciosi, Karl Geary, Brian O'Byrne, Conor McDermottroe, John Cronogue, Seamus Hughes, Andrew Scott, Michael Sheridan, Rebecca O'Mara and Diane Parkes