This year at the recently concluded Cannes Film Festival, actors and directors appeared overly political. In fact, their statements on current state issues hogged headlines in major cinema dailies that were published during the 12-day festival on the French Riviera. The festival ran from May 11 to 22.
Hollywood star George Clooney told a media conference, soon after his Money Monster on a stock market television show screened, that there “will not be a President Donald Trump in the US”. This evoked a gasp from the journalists present at the conference, and the confidence with which he spoke these words seemed almost spectacular.
And now we have the legendary British director -- who is just 80 -- saying that he does not want the UK Prime Minister, David Cameroon, to watch his Cannes Competition entry, I, Daniel Blake, which went on to win the festival’s highest award, Palm d’Or.
Watch I,Daniel Blake trailer here:
Loach -- who is the only British director to have won the Palm twice (earlier in 2006 it was The Wind that Shakes the Barley on Irish independence) -- tackles bureaucratic brutality in his country. We see in the movie the suffering of the poor, we see unemployment, poverty and the rise of food banks.
Speaking at a recent premiere of Versus -- a documentary on his life and work -- Loach said “punishing the poor is part of the Prime Minister’s project”.
The documentary opens in Britain on June 3.
Loach averred that he had changed his decision not to helm any more films after he saw the plight of the poor under Cameron’s Conservative Government.
Watch Ken Loach speak about his film at the Cannes 2016 press conference after his film’s screening:
He said: “It is not an accident that the poor are punished for their unemployment. That’s their (Cameron and his team) project, that’s the point, that’s what has to happen because their model of society produces unemployment and if people question that model then they are lost ... There’s no point in showing the movie to them.”
Loach, who has made daring films like Bread and Roses on the Mexican immigration problem, has always been a vociferous critic of the Conservative Party and of their so-called welfare measures. Loach thinks these have merely worsened poverty levels in Britain, promoting the demeaning system of food banks.
In 2013, Loach co-founded the Left Unity Party to challenge the Conservatives, and there was a time when it had 1500 members. The organisation did not shine, but it is said to have restored people’s faith in the Labour Party, which stands for the interests of the man on street.