Indie Spotlight: I, Daniel Blake

Film Editor Jimmy Athey talks of the importance of the politics behind Indie film I, Daniel Blake

Jimmy Athey
11th February 2019
Image: YouTube

There are not many films that have had such an affect over me that I, Daniel Blake has had. I found myself forgetting its medium and I was sucked in to the relentless story of this poor man; a realistic representation of what many people have to go through in this conservative ran government.

I, Daniel Blake is an indie film directed by the acclaimed director Ken Loach, who is arguably one of the most influential indie directors working today. It revolves around a man who has recently had a heart attack in which he is unable to work but is denied benefits from the local job centre. He then meets a young single mother of two, who has also been denied benefits and the film intertwines their struggles.

This film is of vital importance in terms of making the audience aware of reality.

What indie films do best is the messages behind them, and the meaning in their art. Hollywood blockbusters lack the creative intellect of what indie films can offer; Hollywood aim to entertain, indie films aim to question. I, Daniel Blake has a clear message behind it: people in the UK still live in poverty. The film is grounded in the realism of what some working class people still go through on a day to day basis, and its scenes aim to shock the audience watching. An extraordinary powerful scene set in a food bank upholds Ken Loach’s view that working class lives are ‘inherently dramatic’ and this scene proves that statement, as the minimal setting and action contrasts the emotion the characters express.

Sometimes I hate when films become too political; hiring people based on their ethnic group or gender to please an audience can be quite restraining on the film industry. However, this film is of vital importance in terms of making the audience aware of reality. Like such films as Blackkklansman, I, Daniel Blake brings a view of a very important subject that people may not be aware of. If you are unsure of what political party you support, this film reminds you of the current situation for thousands of people and you should decide for yourself how you want to think about it.

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