I, Daniel Blake premiere: A chat with Ken Loach and the cast on social injustice
Winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Ken Loach’s latest film I, Daniel Blake is a social critique denouncing the benefits system and the ease of spiralling into poverty for the working class. Famous for bringing to light uncomfortable social truths, Loach has entrusted Dave Johns with playing the title character, a carpenter trapped by the system after suffering a near-fatal heart attack. Actress Hayley Squires plays a single mother who bonds with Daniel Blake as she fights her own battle.
As the film officially premieres in the UK this week, we joined Loach, the cast and screenwriter Paul Laverty on the red carpet as they told us about the impact that the film’s content has had on them, and they shared their views on politics and the unforgiving system that leaves so many people stranded.
Ken Loach spoke of the harsh sanctions implemented by the government and the detrimental effect such methods have on society at large. He blames Thatcher’s ideologies for breeding mistrust and setting people against one another.
Dave Johns believes that I, Daniel Blake can remind people of their power to take action. He spoke of the hardships that ordinary people could so easily fall into and told us how the film opened his eyes to the extent of the problem.
Hayley Squires described the ways that the film touched her and she shared her feelings on the current political situation. She told us why she saw a glimmer of hope in spite of the bleak overall picture.
Finally, screenwriter Paul Laverty spoke of the process behind the making and the potential impact that the film will have.
Video: Filippo L’Astorina
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