Magazine article New Internationalist

I, Daniel Blake

Magazine article New Internationalist

I, Daniel Blake

Article excerpt

I, Daniel Blake (100 minutes)

directed by Ken Loach

If you only see one film this year, see this.

As you would expect from Loach, it's political. It's particularly resonant as it's about Britain today and the effects of reforms and scapegoating that we owe to a succession of 'new' Labour and Tory politicians. And it's deeply moving because it conveys the personal experiences of people at the sharp end so convincingly, sensitively and poignantly.

Dave is a fifty- or sixty-something Geordie carpenter trying to get welfare payments after a heart attack. He wants to get back to work but his GP and hospital consultant tell him he's not yet fit enough. Even so, he's rejected for sickness benefit which, though he doesn't know a mouse from a Mac, throws him into the torments of applying online for a jobseeker's allowance.

Katie is a single mother from London with two kids. After two years of living in one room in a homeless hostel, she has been rehoused in Newcastle, 500 kilometres away from her family and friends. …

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