Two years ago renowned liberal filmmaker Ken Loach announced he would be retiring, just ahead of Jimmy's Hall competing for the Palme d'Or at Cannes. Obviously he didn't stay on the sidelines for long because he was back on the Croisette last month with I, Daniel Blake, winning the coveted award for the first time since 2006's The Wind that Shakes the Barley. It's a strong feather in the cap for Loach as the first trailer for the acclaimed drama debuts.
Reuniting with 'Barley' screenwriter Paul Laverty, the film centers on the titular man who becomes ill and must navigate through the stifling and humiliating red tape to receive his sickness benefits. Along the way he becomes friends with others in a similarly dehumanizing situation. Here's the synopsis:
Daniel Blake (59) has worked as a joiner most of his life in Newcastle. Now, for the first time ever, he needs help from the State. He crosses paths with 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.
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’ in modern-day Britain.
Starring Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, and a number of other mostly-unknown actors, I, Daniel Blake hits the UK in October and will be released stateside later this year.