date festival


Ken Loach

© DR

Ken Loach
1969 - United Kingdom - 1h51

Screenings : monday 22 - 5:00 pm - Pathé - 2 - presented by Louis Mathieu - film teacher thursday 25 - 5:15 pm - Grand Théâtre
12-year-old Billy Casper lives in a Yorkshire mining town. He mother does little to care for him and he is picked on relentlessly by his older brother, Jud. At school, Billy is absent-minded and undisciplined, surrounded by classmates and teachers who are more hostile than they are friendly. One day, he finds a kestrel he names Kes.
In 1969, Ken Loach directed Kes on the suggestion of his producer and co-writer Tony Garnett. The title of the novel from which it is adapted, A Kestrel for a Knave, is a turn of phrase that evokes the Middle Ages, a time when falconry was the privilege of the nobility. The paradox of the film lies in the discrepancy between this art, with its strict, unchanging rules, and young Billy's life in this sadly beautiful Yorkshire mining town. Frightened by the idea of having to go down the mine, Billy transfers his affection, his desires and the best of himself to his falcon.
Tony Richardson, the leading director of Free Cinema, managed to obtain funding from an American major. With the budget for a television drama, Loach went to shoot the film in the town where the novel's writer was from, and found David Bradley, his lead actor, as well as his classmates and teachers, many of whom were actually David's teachers. Rejected in England, then presented at the Critics' Week in Cannes a few months later, the film received rave reviews and was distributed throughout the world, where it found its audience and its rightful reputation.
“Uncompromisingly harsh and tough, the film produces to some memorable scenes, both because of its keen observation of the implicit mechanisms that keep the most disadvantaged excluded, and because of the overwhelming spontaneity of David Bradley, the young non-professional actor playing Billy. Among them, the famous sequence of a football match at the secondary school, led by a frustrated and sadistic PE teacher who is a Manchester United fan. There was a time, then, when Ken Loach, out of solidarity with a teenager who preferred the solitary flight of a kestrel, dared to show his fellow countrymen that football was a school of collective mediocrity.” (Jacques Mandelbaum;
Le Monde)

Cast : David Bradley, Freddie Fletcher, Lynne Perrie, Colin Welland, Brian Glover
Screenplay : Barry Hines, Ken Loach, Tony Garnett
Cinematography : Chris Menges
Editing : Roy Watts
Music : John Cameron

Production : Kestrel Films, Woodfall Film Productions

French distributor : Park Circus