Ken Loach is right – he didn’t make I, Daniel Blake to prick David Cameron’s conscience because David Cameron doesn’t have one.
But the British public has, and art exists not only to entertain but to enlighten.
Loach is to be applauded for coming out of retirement to make his film. It is, however, a sad indictment on younger film-makers that nobody else thought of it first.
Oh, and the Graun has made another of the cock-ups for which it is justly famous: Loach didn’t say he “does not want” David Cameron to watch the film; he said it would be pointless.
That’s a big difference.
The director Ken Loach has said he does not want David Cameron to watch his latest film, which deals with unemployment, poverty and the rise of food banks in Britain today, because punishing the poor is part of the prime minister’s project.
Last week, Loach became the first British director to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes twice, when his welfare state polemic I, Daniel Blake picked up the prize.
The 79-year-old film-maker had previously announced he was finished with directing but became so infuriated by the plight of the poor under the current Conservative government that he came out of retirement to make a new film, addressing the human cost of their policies.
speaking at the premiere of Versus, a documentary about his life and work, Loach said he thought there was no point in “Cameron and co” watching the film “because that is their project, that is what they believe in … It is part of what they want to happen.”
He said: “It is not an accident that the poor are punished for their unemployment. That’s their 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 film to them.”
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