Editor of the Brisbanista website
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A moving social realist drama set in Britian
I, Daniel Blake is a heart-breaking and sombre film to watch. Daniel Blake has just had a heart attack and his doctors won't let him work, but the welfare system forces him to follow the rules and processes. Here he crosses the path of single mother Katie and her two young children, Daisy and Dylan. Katie is forced to move from London and a one-roomed homeless hostel to Newcastle where she doesn't know anyone.
Anyone who has spent time on hold waiting to speak with a Centrelink staff member or at their offices filling in paper work will be able to sympathise with the main characters. The story allows us to 'walk a mile' in these character's shoes who are trying to get by on an inadequate, overly bureaucratic and unsympathetic welfare system. The strength of this movie is that it gives people on welfare support a humanising voice.
I found some parts of the film difficult to watch, particularly when Katie is starving herself to feed her children, but as the saying goes desperate times call for desperate measures. I didn't find the ending predictable but rather unsettling. If only our Politicians could watch this movie we might pay people on welfare more and make the system easier to navigate.
The movie was directed by acclaimed British filmmaker Ken Loach and the winner of the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2016.
I, Daniel Blake is a powerful movie and I hope it will change people's opinions.