I, Daniel Blake

Ich, Daniel Blake
Ken Loach
GBR, FRA, B 2016
100 min

Fifty years since Ken Loach raged against homelessness in his television play CATHY COME HOME, he has made a film infused with the same quiet but righteous anger about the failings of society. I, DANIEL BLAKE is the story of an unlikely but tender friendship between Katie, a single mother from London with two kids, and Dan, a salt-of-the-earth carpenter in his late fifties who’s out of work and recovering from a heart attack. Both Katie and Dan are feeling the sharp end of the shrinking welfare state: Katie has been forced to move her children north to Newcastle to find an apartment; Dan is stuck in a nightmarish bureacratic limbo between work, illness and benefits. “We’re digital by default,” a job-center worker tells this man who’s never used a computer, pointing him toward yet another online form. The language of impersonal bureaucracy runs throughout the film. It’s blackly comic until it begins to sound threatening, even deadly.
There are no histrionics here, no crowd-pleasing gestures, barely any score. It’s a spare film, muted in color, unflashy, and all the more powerful for it. It is perhaps Loach’s most unassuming, straightforward film since THE NAVIGATORS. It goes in for the kill almost meekly. (Dave Calhoun)

  • Hayley Squires - Katie
  • Dave Johns - Dan
  • Briana Shann - Daisy
  • Dylan McKiernan - Dylan
  • Paul Laverty
  • Robbie Ryan
  • Jonathan Morris
  • George Fenton
Sixteen Films, Why Not Productions, Wild Bunch, Les Films du Fleuve, BBC Films, BFI, France 2 Cinéma, VOO De TV

Wild Bunch

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