Daniel Blake, 59, has worked as a joiner most of his life in Newcastle. Now, after a heart attack and nearly falling from a scaffold, he needs help from the State for the first time in his life.
He crosses paths with a single mother Katie and her two young children, Daisy and Dylan. Katie’s only chance to escape a one-roomed homeless hostel in London has been to accept a flat in a city she doesn’t know some 300 miles away. Soon, Daniel and Katie find themselves in no-man’s land caught on the barbed wire of welfare bureaucracy as played out against the rhetoric of ‘striver and skiver,’ the central focus of the call for welfare reform by conservatives in modern day Britain.
Continuing his legacy of social realist cinema, Ken Loach’s latest film is colored with shades of Dickens and Orwell and is perhaps his most direct statement of the challenges of pensioners crippled by the system -- A welfare state polemic that is blunt, dignified and brutally moving.
The film won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.