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.


Ken Loach


Paul Laverty (screenplay)
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 29 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »





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 ... At the Sawmill
Sammy T. Dobson Sammy T. Dobson ... Specialist Nurse
Mickey Hutton Mickey Hutton ... Neighbour with dog
Colin Coombs ... Postman


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


Intensely Moving and Utterly Heartbreaking! See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


All the women who work for the public agencies have the same haircut: bangs with a mid length straight bob. 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 »


Daniel: Was I a soldier? Oh, more dangerous than that. I was a carpenter.
See more »

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 »


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


Sailing By
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

Sadly important
8 January 2019 | by paul2001sw-1See all my reviews

We all hate it when we are treated according to a standardised procedure, with no discretion shown for our particular circumstances. Perhaps it's inevitable that a benefits system is impersonal; but perhaps it's rather a feature by design, to strip applicants of their dignity, either to deter scroungers or simply to drive down the bill by making it humiliating, and difficult, to get what you really need. In the U.K., it has for a long time been widely suspected that some people claim invalidity benefits when actually fit to work; but attempts to prevent this have led to cries of outrage that the sick are sometimes basically left to fend for themselves, forced to seek jobs they are not fit to take. Ken Loach's film 'I, Daniel Blake', is fictional, but it's grounded in many credible accounts of how the system works.

The film itself is minimalistic, without any soundtrack; it's low key, showing us the everyday reality of Daniel's life. But it makes one angry watching it, because one can easily believe that for many people, this is exactly how the system presents itself. You couldn't call the film fun to watch, but it's important: every time you hear politicians lambast scroungers, you need to consider what the counter measures mean for those without a support network. Sadly, this is a must see movie.

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Release Date:

9 June 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I, Daniel Blake See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,682, 4 June 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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