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I, Daniel Blake (2016)

R | | Drama | 9 June 2017 (USA)
Trailer
2:23 | Trailer
After having suffered a heart-attack, a 59-year-old carpenter must fight the bureaucratic forces of the system in order to receive Employment and Support Allowance.

Directors:

Ken Loach, Laura Obiols

Writer:

Paul Laverty (screenplay)
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 28 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dave Johns ... Daniel Blake
Hayley Squires ... Katie
Briana Shann ... Daisy
Dylan McKiernan Dylan McKiernan ... Dylan (as Dylan Phillip McKiernan)
Kate Rutter ... Ann
Sharon Percy ... Sheila
Kema Sikazwe Kema Sikazwe ... China
Steven Richens Steven Richens ... Piper
Amanda Payne Amanda Payne ... Employment Support Allowance Assessor
Chris Mcglade Chris Mcglade ... At the Sawmill (as Chris McGlade)
Shaun Prendergast ... At the Sawmill
Gavin Webster Gavin Webster ... At the Sawmill
Sammy T. Dobson Sammy T. Dobson ... Specialist Nurse
Mickey Hutton Mickey Hutton ... Neighbour with dog
Colin Coombs Colin Coombs ... Postman
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Storyline

A 59 year old carpenter recovering from a heart attack befriends a single mother and her two kids as they navigate their way through the impersonal, Kafkaesque benefits system. With equal amounts of humor, warmth and despair, the journey is heartfelt and emotional until the end.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Magnificent! One of Loach's very best. Demands to be seen! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the film Daniel is offered a drink from the water cooler in the Jobcentre. Water coolers were removed from jobcentres in 2010 as part of the Tory cuts. See more »

Goofs

Security Guards in all Job Centres are provided by G4S, but the security guards shown here do not wear G4S uniforms. See more »

Quotes

Daniel: She was special. Yeah, she was special, Daisy. Not easy. She was up one minute, down the next. Smart and funny. Huh. Ah, that lass made me laugh. Kind. She had a big, big heart. But... She said her head was like the ocean. Dead still, then wild. Never knew where she'd end up next. I mean, the music helped that. But then she'd hit the rocks. "Where'll we sail to tonight, Dan?" That was our little joke. Her last words to me were, "I wanna sail away, Dan, with the wind at me back."That's all I ...
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Crazy Credits

A very special thanks to workers within the DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] and PCS [Public and Commercial Services] Union who provided us with invaluable information but who must remain anonymous. [Government edict that public employees in these departments cannot speak publicly about their work.] See more »

Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Sailing By
(1963)
Composed by Ronald Binge
Performed by The Alan Perry/William Gardner Orchestra as The Perry/Gardner Orchestra
Conducted by Ronald Binge
Licensed courtesy of Mozart Edition (Great Britain) Ltd.
See more »

User Reviews

 
A wake up call for Tory Britain. Brilliantly satirises our hateful benefits system.
22 October 2016 | by markgormanSee all my reviews

Ken Loach does it again.

If you know Ken Loach (and importantly his writing partner Paul Laverty) you'll know I, Daniel Blake.

It's a nightmare.

A total nightmare.

Life on poverty line Britain that is.

And Loach hammers this home with gusto.

He chooses Newcastle as his latest political landscape, partly because "it's grim up North" but also because, in my experience, Geordies are the salt of the earth; kind, lovable folks. And this is the main emotional driver of this nightmare.

Daniel Blake is caught in a trap.

A bureaucratic hell populated by "computer says no" mini Hitlers occupying mainly minor roles in the Jobseeker hell that is Tory Britain. In a bid to out 'scroungers' the system has eaten itself and is spitting out vulnerable pitiful fodder like Daniel (played deeply sympathetically by comedian Dave Johns. He'll never win an Oscar but this part was made for him) and the lovable but deeply vulnerable Katie (played equally well by Hayley Squires - Call the Midwife).

He's had a heart attack and his doctors say he can't work but the Benefits Police say he has to go on jobseeker allowance and look for work or lose all entitlement to any money AT ALL.

It's farcical.

She's moved from a women's hostel in London because she can't afford a flat in London with her two children (one slightly miscast as a rather posh daughter, Daisy). She's having the same problems, only hers start from a tinpot Hitler chucking her out of the Job Centre for being late for her appointment.

They bond. He helps her. She helps him. It's grim but deeply affecting. We then follow their shared struggle.

In many ways this movie is like a Ken Loach Primer. It has all his usual trademarks and the 'working class people are good' message is laid on way too thickly.

But.

And it's a big but they are in a profoundly believable real-life drama and I found myself in tears (of collective shame?) three times during it.

It certainly makes the reality of food banks in Britain very, very meaningful. I won't pass a collection point again if my conscience holds up.

Everything that is good about Loach is in this film. In parts it's laugh out loud funny (but it's laughs of derision at our State). In parts it's deeply moving, even though some of the plot is verging on the ridiculous.

But who cares. Ken Loach holds a mirror up to our frankly DISGUSTING society and mocks it.

But he mocks it with the most vicious of venom.

It feels real. Really real.

It's a must see.


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Details

Country:

UK | France | Belgium

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 June 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I, Daniel Blake See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,682, 4 June 2017

Gross USA:

$260,354

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$15,793,051
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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