Hoping that self-employment through gig economy can solve their financial woes, a hard-up UK delivery driver and his wife struggling to raise a family end up trapped in the vicious circle of this modern-day form of labour exploitation.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
During the Depression, Jimmy Gralton returns home to Ireland after ten years of exile in America. Seeing the levels of poverty and oppression, the activist in him reawakens and he looks to re-open the dance hall that led to his deportation.
When slaughterhouse workers Endre and Mária discover they share the same dreams - where they meet in a forest as deer and fall in love - they decide to make their dreams come true but it's difficult in real life.
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.
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 »
Security Guards in all Job Centres are provided by G4S, but the security guards shown here do not wear G4S uniforms. See more »
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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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 »
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 »
A wake up call for Tory Britain. Brilliantly satirises our hateful benefits system.
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.
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.
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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