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Ken Loach, one of the greatest British movie directors working today, comes back with a powerful social drama about a middle-aged carpenter who requires state welfare after injuring himself at work, & is joined by a single mother in a similar scenario.Dave Johns stars as the eponymous Daniel Blake who, after suffering a heart attack at work, is at risk of developing a life-threatening arrhythmia & is told by his doctor he is not ready to return to work. Now, for the first time ever, he needs help from the State.Daniel crosses paths with a single mother Katie (Hayley Squires) & her two young children, Daisy & Dylan. Katie’s only chance to escape a one-roomed homeless hostel in London has been to accept a flat in Daniel’s hometown – a city she doesn’t know, some 300 miles away.Daniel & Katie find themselves in no-man’s land, caught on the barbed wire of welfare bureaucracy as played out against the rhetoric of ‘striver & skiver’ in modern day Britain.This moving, politicallly-charged drama is a true return to form for Ken Loach who has been a social campaigner for most of his career, frequently challlenging the benefits system in the UK. Despite portraying a very bleak, ruthless world, the film’s powerful sense of empathy carries an air of triumph from start to finish.The screenplay was written by Loach’s long-term collaborator Paul Laverty & the film won the director his second Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING‘Ken Loach crafts a Cathy Come Home for the 21st century, the raw anger of which resonates long after you leave the cinema’ – GUARDIAN
Ken Loach directs this drama that follows a 59-year-old joiner as he tries to navigate the British benefits system. In the North-East of England, widower Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) is forced to stop working when he is taken ill with heart disease & so applies for Employment & Support Allowance from the Government. But his life is further thrown into disarray when his benefits are suddenly taken away from him & he is forced to jump through the many hoops of the bureaucratic system to get them back. During this time, he meets the similarly-troubled single mother Katie (Hayley Squires) whose financial problems mean she is being forced out of her home in London along with her two kids Dylan & Daisy (Dylan McKiernan & Briana Shann). The film was nominated for five BAFTAs including Best Film, Best Director (Loach), Best Original Screenplay & Best Supporting Actress (Squires) & won the award for Outstanding British Film of the Year.
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