date festival


Ken Loach

In the presence of Pierre Chassagneux, director, and Louis Mathieu, film teacher

A key figure in British cinema, Ken Loach will be honoured at the 36th edition of the Festival Premiers Plans in Angers. While his last film, The Old Oak, is in the headlines, the Festival will be taking a look back at the career of this committed artist who has upheld the tradition of social cinema for the past 60 years.

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Poor Cow
United Kingdom - 1967
United Kingdom - 1969
Family Life
United Kingdom - 1971
United Kingdom - 1991
Raining Stones
United Kingdom - 1993
Land and Freedom
United Kingdom / Spain / Germany - 1995
My Name is Joe
United Kingdom / Germany / France - 1998
The Navigators
United Kingdom / Germany / Spain - 2001
Sweet Sixteen
United Kingdom / Germany / Spain - 2002
The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Ireland / United Kingdom / Germany - 2006
It's a Free World!
United Kingdom / Italy / Germany - 2007
Looking for Eric
United Kingdom / France / Italy - 2009
The Angels' Share
United Kingdom / France - 2012
I, Daniel Blake
United Kingdom / France / Belgium - 2016
Sorry We Missed You
United Kingdom / France / Belgium - 2019

[Intro continued]

Ken Loach has always striven to represent the underprivileged and the victims of our contemporary societies, from members of the working class to those left by the wayside through rampant neo-liberalism, without ever blaming his characters who are never reduced to a mere social position. The warmth of the feelings and the energy emanating from these everyday heroes avoid the demonstrative. Humour is extremely present, confirming the adage that it is the politeness of despair.

Ken Loach is a constant observer of the world, and his films always respond to issues that were contemporary to the time they were made: unemployment hitting a young family in Cathy Come Home (1966), a teenage girl torn between family pressure and psychiatry in Family Life (1971), the precarity created by Margaret Thatcher’s policies in Raining Stones (1993), drifters in a tough Glasgow neighbourhood in My Name is Joe (1998) and the victims of the gig economy in Sorry We Missed You (2019). His films depict the evolution of social struggles as well as the fight for the rights of workers and illegal immigrants (The Navigators (2001), It’s a Free World! (2007)).

In 1995, Ken Loach made a decisive encounter when he met Paul Laverty, who would become his regular scriptwriter. They have worked together on a dozen films, two of which have won the Palme d’Or: The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006), about the wars of Irish independence, and I, Daniel Blake (2016), about the descent into hell of a man with a heart condition following the privatisation of the health service. Ken Loach holds a special place in contemporary European cinema. His career, which is both prolific and consistent, is the most humanist there is, and his films remind us that, despite the vagaries of our capitalist societies, fraternity is a compass we would do well not to lose.