Country: Belgium, France, UK
Language: English

Running Time: 105min
Film Year: 2016
Category: Film

The latest film from Ken Loach is among the great British director’s most urgent and humane works. I, Daniel Blake, for which Loach was awarded his second Palme d’Or, pits an ordinary working-class man against a soulless bureaucracy.

Blake is a 59-year-old widower living in Newcastle. Following a near-fatal cardiac arrest, he’s instructed by his doctor not to return to his carpentry job. So Blake dutifully applies to the Department for Work and Pensions for sickness benefits—and to his shock, his honesty triggers a denial. With a meager jobseeker’s allowance now his sole source of income, Blake is given no choice but to jump through various systematic hoops, some baffling, some humiliating. At least he has a friend in Katie, a young single mother whose situation is even more desperate than his.

Based on extensive research performed by screenwriter Paul Laverty (writer of The Olive Tree, a favorite at this year’s Festival), I, Daniel Blake doesn’t shy away from depicting the brutality of system that can seem designed to abandon those who need it most. It is a testament to the cinematic powers of Loach, Laverty, et al, that even within this bleak scenario, solidarity and dignity prevail, reminding us that we are never truly alone.


Saturday October 15th @ 1:00pm MDC’S TOWER THEATER (THEATER 1) Add to Schedule


Director: Ken Loach
Producer: Rebecca O'Brien
Screenwriter: Paul Laverty

Music: George Fenton
Cinematographer: Robbie Ryan
Editor: Jonathan Morris

Cast: Hayley Squires, Dave Johns, Harriet Ghost, Colin Coombs, Julie Nicholson, Mark Burns

Ken Loach

Ken Loach was born in Nuneaton, England and studied law at St Peter’s College in Oxford. He made teleplays for the BBC before embarking on his 50-year career of theatrical features. His many films include Kes (69), Hidden Agenda (90), Land and Freedom (95) and The Wind That Shakes the Barley (06), which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, as did his latest, I, Daniel Blake (16).