I, Daniel Blake

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United Kingdom | 2016 | 100 minutes | Ken Loach

Winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the latest from Ken Loach tells the story of a carpenter who suffers a debilitating heart attack and must fight against the bureaucratic welfare system that insists he must return to work even though it may kill him.

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A journey of self-discovery and a battle cry for those ignored and rebuked by society, I, Daniel Blake tells the story of a man in the fight for his life against the people who are supposed to save him. After suffering a major heart attack at work, 59-year-old Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) is baffled when he is deemed fit to work by the Work Capability Assessment test, despite being told the opposite by his cardiologist. He comes to find out that, while he may appeal the assessment of the WCA, he must wait months for the court to make their decision. Daniel, along with single mother Katie and her children, proceed to try to understand the welfare system that seems determined to screw them over. Director Ken Loach utilizes Daniel to meticulously analyze the defects of today's welfare system. Loach's detailed demonstration of the hoops people are required to jump through within the system presents a stark reality of the life of the deprived. Armed with spray paint, an attitude, and not much else, Daniel Blake shows the system that he refuses to be treated as a number instead of a person.

Director Biography

UK-based Ken Loach is most recognized for his work in television throughout the 1960s and 1970s. As the years progressed, so did his career; he filled the 1980s with documentaries and eventually moved into feature films in the 1990s and 2000s. Loach holds the record as the oldest Palme d'Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival for I, Daniel Blake.

Sponsored by British Airways, Pacific Place, UW Medicine Advancement

  • Director: Ken Loach
  • Principal Cast: David Johns, Hayley Squires, Dylan McKiernan, Briana Shann, Kate Rutter
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: United Kingdom, France
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 100 minutes
  • Producer: Rebecca O'Brien
  • Screenplay: Paul Laverty
  • Cinematographers: Robbie Ryan
  • Editors: Jonathan Morris
  • Music: George Fenton
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Cannes Film Festival 2016 (Palme d'Or), Locarno International Film Festival 2016 (Prix du Public UBS)
  • Filmography: Jimmy’s Hall (2014); The Spirit of ‘45 (2013); Lookinf For Eric (2009); The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006); Land and Freedom (1995); Riff-Raff (1991); Fatherland (1986); Black Jack (1979); Kes (1969)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Sundance Selects
  • International Sales: Wild Bunch