Socialist Worker

Versus—The life and films of Ken Loach

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2508

Director Louise Osmond‘s look at the life of radical film maker Ken Loach comes straight from the set of his latest feature I, Daniel Blake, about life on benefits.

Osmond traces Loach’s career from the 1960s. His aim has always been to show working class people on screen without patronising them.

His breakthrough Cathy Come Home (1966) brought homelessness to the fore. His later films were more political, but didn’t descend into po-faced propaganda.

Land and Freedom (1995) follows the dissident Marxist group Poum in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-38.

It shattered the propaganda about the Communist Party’s heroic role in the war.

His much-lauded Spirit of 45, about Clement Attlee’s Labour, was well-made. But it was perhaps too sentimental—and too white.

This film is worth a watch as a way into Loach’s work.

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Tue 14 Jun 2016, 16:46 BST
Issue No. 2508
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