Salon talks to Ken Loach about his acclaimed new film about austerity and the overlooked working poor.
‘The most vulnerable people are told that their poverty is their own fault’.
Ken Loach’s new film ‘I, Daniel Blake’ takes that basic idea and presents it with gut-wrenching intensity.
‘I, Daniel Blake’ follows the story of a 59-year-old British carpenter who suffers a heart attack and needs state support.
The film has been a major critical success and won Loach his second Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival – 10 years after his first win with ‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley’.Along with Francis Ford Coppola and Billie August – Loach is one of only eight directors to win Cannes’ top prize twice.His new film quietly yet powerfully shows us why Loach is one of the most important directors of our time.
Following the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election Loach’s new film is a timely portrait of the plight of the working class.
The film’s protagonist misses three critical points in a health assessment that would lock in his benefits – so he is then required to appeal the assessment while also applying for unemployment support.
To gain unemployment relief he must attend workshops – spend 35 hours a week looking for jobs and fill out forms on-line — a tough requirement for a man who has zero computer skills.