ken loach delivers searing attack on uk government at the BAFTAs

The I, Daniel Blake director used his acceptance speech for Best British Film to speak out against the “callousness and brutality” of the UK government, following the decision to end its child refugee programme last week.

by Matthew Whitehouse
13 February 2017, 9:17pm

British filmmaker Ken Loach delivered a searing attack on the UK government last night as I, Daniel Blake won Best British Film at the British Academy Film Awards. Using his acceptance speech to thank both cast and crew - as well as the people of Newcastle, where the film is set - he continued to express his gratitude to the academy for "endorsing the truth of what this film says, which is that hundreds of thousands of people - the vulnerable and the poorest people - are treated by the this government with a callousness and brutality that is disgraceful."

The veteran director is, of course, known for his outspoken stance on social issues; I, Daniel Blake serving as an uncompromising critique of the UK welfare system. And with the Government's U-turn on its pledge to accept thousands of child refugees from Syria and other conflicts last week, Loach used the reversal to deliver a powerful statement on the need for filmmakers to stand with the most vulnerable.

"In the real world, it's getting darker," he said. "And in the struggle that's coming between the rich and the powerful, the corporations and the politicians that speak for them, and the rest of us on the other side, the filmmakers know which side they're on."

Read: Ken Loach explains his work's utter necessity in contemporary cinema.


Text Matthew Whitehouse

I Daniel Blake
Ken Loach