Ken Loach, committed conscience, rabid filmmaker

May 19, 2021 by No Comments

For those who will come out overwhelmed by the admirable Me, Daniel Blake, the 34e Ken Loach’s film, his second Palme d’Or, we cannot recommend enough to watch the accompanying documentary on the career of the English filmmaker. A fascinating light on the genesis of this film, inspired by the reality of the disintegration of social protection in an England that is still Thatcherite, which sinks the precarious underwater by treating them as lazy and gradually withdrawing their meager rights. .

Ken Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty, his accomplice for twenty years, had been alerted by the tragic story of a woman who died of hunger, with a one-year-old child. To understand the roots of this drama, their research had led them into the maze of social assistance. A discouraging mechanic so that the abandoned let go, with punishment for those who do not know how to get into the nails.

→ READ. Ken Loach, the constancy of a conscience

Both terrified by what they discovered, they could have drawn fire from it. They opted for the chronicle of two castaways who suffer as best they can. Or how frustration leads to despair and then to loss of dignity.

Angry young man

The Ken Loach-Paul Laverty method remains the same: a thorough period of investigation. Listen a lot, put yourself in the shoes of the underprivileged, imagine what they experience before giving birth to films where everything is written, without improvisation during the shooting, while leaving room for the real surprises that the acting can cause .

Coming from the working class, coming from the big school of the BBC, at the time of the English New Wave, Ken Loach remained, under his placid gait, the angry young man, indignant at injustice, attached to the common good , to the general interest, to public services. His films are based on long conversations with Paul Laverty, his brother in arms, his alter ego, and on the strike force of his producer, Rebecca O’Brien. The trio works “like a harmonious gang” that no one can resist, so strong and structured are their convictions and their relentless energy.

The voice of relentlessness and solidarity

Ken Loach agrees with the advice he gives to his actors: “If you are sincere, it will show on the screen. “. His faithful editor insists: “Ken looks like his movies. Fierce with the powerful. Tender with the outcasts. He gives thanks to the invisible. “

From film to film, the rabid filmmaker draws a social history of the United Kingdom, attacks the ravages of a liberalism which is plaguing the working classes in a country, the fifth world power, where one in five Britons (20% of the population…) lives below the poverty line.

→ CHRONICLE. Ken Loach, capitalism and decivilization

With Me, Daniel Blake, his poignant and offensive denunciation was received around the world as a universal message. In all countries, spectators recognized in Daniel Blake what they experienced.

Until the end, Ken Loach will not let go. At 84, he continues to rebel: “Being complacent about intolerable phenomena is simply unacceptable. “ Until the end, he will make the voice of relentlessness and solidarity heard in the cinema.


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