There probably aren’t going to be many films released this year that have the impact that I, Daniel Blake will. With the working class vilified regularly, the welfare state has become synonymous with a cold, harsh government’s attitudes towards those who need help most. Ken Loach has long provided an authentic voice for those working class people, so it should come as no surprise that the masterful director tackled the heavy subject of life on benefits in this new film, which is due for release on Friday 21st October at Tyneside Cinema.
I, Daniel Blake won’t be an easy watch, but it is a must-watch, winning the Palme D’or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival as proof of its credentials as a truly vital piece of cinema. The powerful, emotive film centres on the struggles of a former joiner (played by stand-up comic Dave Johns in his first film role) and a single mother (played by Haley Squires) struggling to make ends meet in the times austerity we all currently live. Raw and sincere it captures the zeitgeist in heartbreaking fashion, it’s all set on our doorstep, right here in Newcastle, and everyone needs to watch this film.