I, Daniel Blake
Rated 14 Accompaniment (Coarse Language, Disturbing Content) ~ Runs 100 minutes
Dir.: Ken Loach
Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Dylan McKiernan
In Scottish English, with English subtitles.
BAFTA Winner, Outstanding British Film of the Year; Cannes Winner, Palme d'Or
“British director Ken Loach’s sympathies have always been with working people. He’s spent the past 50 years training his camera on the sort of folks who don’t get close-ups in a medium as glamour-obsessed as cinema. His latest, the winner of the Palme d’Or, is no different. It also couldn’t be more timely as a truth-to-power statement, since millions of Americans are probably about to lose their health care. As the film opens, the title character (Dave Johns, wonderful) is being asked maddening questions by a National Health worker. Daniel is a widower with a heart condition. He’s too sick to go back to work as a carpenter and too well to receive benefits - the victim of a system more interested in protocol than people. But he’s not about to give up. ‘I’m like a dog with a bone,’ he says in his pudding-thick Newcastle accent. Daniel befriends a single mother in a similar spot who relies on the food bank while her daughter is teased at school because her sneakers are falling apart. Her shame is devastating. When Daniel tells her, ‘We all need the wind at our back now and again,’ it’s hard not to get a little outraged and a lot choked up. Loach’s film isn’t as stridently political as it probably sounds. These are just proud people who want to be treated with respect.” - Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly. “Timely, essential and deeply moving... Dave Johns gives such an impressive turn in the beautifully written lead role that his frustration with the situation in which he finds himself gives the story fire. The film's deftness of touch makes it extremely watchable.” - The Independent (Ireland)