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I, Daniel Blake

No children under 15 may watch this film.
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Blunt, dignified and brutally moving.

The Guardian

Ken Loach’s triumphant Palme d’Or-winning impassioned welfare state drama, made right here in Newcastle, is a vital film for our times.

The film stars local stand-up comedian Dave Johns as Daniel Blake, a middle-aged widower, who after working his whole life in Newcastle as a joiner finds himself in need of help from the state following a near-fatal heart attack.

His path crosses with Katie, a single mother and her two young children who have been forced to move up north from London to escape a one-roomed homeless hostel. Daniel and Katie find themselves in a no-man's land, caught on the barbed wire of welfare bureaucracy as played out against the rhetoric of 'striver and skiver' in modern day Britain.

BBFC Advice: This film contains very strong language.

Director(s): Ken Loach   Country of Origin: United Kingdom  Year: 2016   Running Time: 1hr 40 mins  
BBFC Advice: 15 No children under 15 may watch this film.  

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Worth watching but ultimately quite disappointing. Some good acting but a weak, unconvincing script riven with cliche and tired stereotypes. Undergraduate polemic rather than art lacking the quality and authenticity of Kes and Cathy Come Home.Some critics have called this poverty porn for middle-class southerners. I tend to agree.

2 months ago

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Caroline Boobis said...

A powerful statement about a Conservative Britain in 2016, just as Kes and Cathy Come Home were in their time. However at times the film felt more like a docu-drama, lacking in characterisation, conflict and plot, and somewhat heavy on the didactic message. But it's a message that needs to be told (although who to which audience?) and perhaps Ken Loach is the only film-maker to do this in a credible way.

2 months ago

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Film Club said...

Although most members were part of the general euphoria surrounding this film, one or two were unimpressed, citing lack of authenticity in some scenes, a melodramatic climax and some weak acting. For the majority, however, this was Ken Loach back to his best, quietly pointing out the piece by piece dismantling of the welfare state and the effect that has on two families. 4*

2 months ago

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