Palme d'Or-winning director Ken Loach has hit out at claims his movie THE WIND THE SHAKES THE BARLEY is anti-British, dismissing the reports as "nonsense". The film, which picked up the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday (28MAY06), is about Ireland's struggle for independence from Britain during the 1920s. It is told entirely from the perspective of Irish characters and portrays British soldiers as violent. But Loach is angered by the suggestion, made by several British newspapers, that the film promotes the IRA (Irish Republican Army). One reviewer called it "the most pro-IRA film ever". Englishman Loach says, "We could have shown things that were much worse than are actually in the film" - calling the accusations "a cheap shot, barely worth answering". He adds, "(The film is) about a group of people, mainly young lads, who are fighting to get an army of occupation out of their country. "You could compare them to the French Resistance and the Partisans in Italy." He adds of Britain's 'Blacks and Tans' and Auxiliary soldiers, "Their brutality is legendary - no one would question that."