TIFF 2016: Our Review of ‘I, Daniel Blake’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Film Festivals, Movies, Theatrical, TIFF 2016 by - September 06, 2016
TIFF 2016: Our Review of ‘I, Daniel Blake’

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It’s important to stand up for our rights as human beings.

Coming off of a Palme D’Or win, director Ken Loach returns with I, Daniel Blake, a poignant social drama that Ken Loach has built a career on making.

Daniel (Dave Johns) is a likable carpenter and handyman in Newcastle, trying desperately to collect his Employment and Support Allowance after suffering from a heart attack.  However, thanks to typical government inefficiency, his doctor is telling him he’s still not allowed to look for work, but the government bureaucracy that he is desperately trying to get support from tells him he has to be looking for work in order to get benefits.  During this entire process he befriends Katie (Hayley Squires); a young single mother who is getting pushed around by a system that is supposed to help them.

Heart wrenching and depressing is pretty much director Ken Loach’s standard fair and with I, Daniel Blake he continues his long history of making films that deal with social issues.  He hits all the right buttons and it pulls at the appropriate heart strings perfectly well but the problem is that he’s made this movie before.  It doesn’t make it any less poignant or true, but this is a crystal clear example of Loach staying in his wheel house.

If you’ve never seen one of his movies before then I, Daniel Blake is certainly a decent place to start but those familiar with Loach’s canon of films will want more.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.

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