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TOPIC: An interview with Ken Loach: I, Daniel Blake,

An interview with Ken Loach: I, Daniel Blake, 14 Jan 2019 06:34 #12920

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An interview with Ken Loach: I, Daniel Blake, our future and ‘Tories saying stupid things’

Award-winning director Ken Loach has been making films since 1964. On Saturday 5 January, his celebrated film I, Daniel Blake screened on BBC Two. It provoked a strong public reaction with audiences recognising that the issues raised in the film are still as poignant – if not more so – than when it was first screened in 2016. Ken Loach spoke to The Canary about the film, its response and his thoughts about UK politics and our future.
“Tories… saying stupid things”

Loach explains that “you never know quite what to expect” when a film is broadcast. But he also says that “the response was stronger than we anticipated, really” and continued:

In retrospect, you think: well, maybe that isn’t so surprising. The demand for foodbanks has risen, as we know. And people are as outraged by it as ever; it’s just that they tend not to be heard. We know that the failings are as shocking as ever, so maybe it’s not surprising.

And it’s clear that Loach very much makes films about and for the people. Since Cathy Come Home in 1967, and Kes (1969), Loach established himself as “Britain’s foremost political filmmaker”. In I, Daniel Blake, he gives a powerful voice to the millions of people affected by nine years of Conservative-led austerity. Yet what did surprise Loach after the broadcast was “Tories poking their heads above the parapet saying stupid things”. As far as he’s concerned, they just revealed, “either the depths of their ignorance or the depths of their callousness”. He thinks it’s probably “a mix of the two”.

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