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I, Daniel Blake
Directed by Ken Loach
This is an unusual film in that it is filmed in Newcastle but it doesn’t go for the classic bridges background. Nor does it go for the “it’s grim up north” stereotype. It centres its narrative on a dysfunctional welfare system that isn’t fit for purpose.
A great cast shows pride in the face of adversity, and bureaucrats following orders. Dave Johns is the carpenter who has paid into the system his entire working life and, after a heart attack and under doctors orders, he expects some support. His incredulity at being rejected and assessed as being fit for work by a faceless “health care professional” who ignores the advice of his doctors is well placed.
He meets up with Katie (Hayley Squires) who has been forced to relocate to the area in order to access somewhere to live with her young family. She is sanctioned as she did not know the way to the job centre and Daniel offers to help her.
Photo: Carliol Photography
Gavin Webster plays a former workmate who still looks out for Daniel and Sharon Percy is the job centre employee, Shiela, who doesn’t appreciate that not everyone has access to the internet.
Digital by default they are told. No, Daniel is human by default. This is an impressive film. Each generation has a film that causes it to wake up and realise there is a need for change. Thought provoking. Highly recommended.
This review was written by Stephen Oliver for Carliol Photography (https://twitter.com/CarliolPhoto). Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Carliol Photography on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/carliolphotography .