A must see: I, Daniel Blake

As young students at university, it can be difficult to picture a world where you have nothing, no-one, and no help. Ken Loach’s film, I, Daniel Blake outstandingly depicts a brutal yet real-life image of what poverty in the UK is really like.

a state that scapegoats the poor, trapping them in a cycle in which change is unlikely to occur

It tells a story that is true for many across the country: the struggle within a state that scapegoats the poor, trapping them in a cycle in which change is unlikely to occur.

Having been a carpenter his whole life, widower Daniel had not previously needed any financial assistance, however a major heart attack left him unfit for work. During a brief health assessment in which Daniel plays down his health problems, he is deemed unsuitable to receive sickness benefits.

waiting for the Orwellian ‘Decision-Maker’s’ phone call

After appealing this judgement, he faces the tough decision of waiting for the Orwellian ‘Decision-Maker’s’ phone call, or instead, giving up and claiming job-seekers allowance while still being too ill to work.

Defending single mother Katie over unjust sanctioning in the Job Centre, Daniel and Katie form a strong bond as Daniel continues to provide Katie with unconditional support, despite his own struggles.

harrowing devotion in the face of hardship

Loach doesn’t hold back in demonstrating the lengths people go in supporting themselves and their families. A scene in a food bank is only too telling of harrowing devotion in the face of hardship; the tragedy only escalates as Katie turns to extreme measures.

The deadpan stance heightens the verisimilitude, inspiring Loach’s actors to deliver heartfelt authenticity.

the most vulnerable get the harshest punishments

After watching the film you feel frustrated about how our government treats the poor; it feels as if the most vulnerable get the harshest punishments, which only perpetuates their situation.

During PMQs on November 2, Jeremy Corbyn confronted Prime Minister, Theresa May about the “institutionalised barbarity” of the sanctions system, suggesting she watch I, Daniel Blake. May defended the use of sanctions, stating that it is fairer to the taxpayers who pay for benefits.

Corbyn points out the link between the sanction system and homelessness, which feels all too relevant in Bristol.

a heart wrenching story of friendship in times of desperation

Parallels can be drawn between Katie and Cathy from Loach’s Cathy Come Home. Fifty years on, has anything really changed for homeless people?

I, Daniel Blake: A heart wrenching story of friendship in times of desperation, when all that is left to depend on is the support of strangers.


Originally posted on: Her Campus

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