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I, Daniel Blake

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shawn mach
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Review of ‘I, Daniel Blake’, currently showing at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival ....

Ken Loach’s welfare state polemic is blunt, dignified and brutally moving

There are shades of Dickens and Orwell in this emphatic drama about a disabled man strangled by the red tape of the benefits system ...

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/may/12/i-daniel-blake-ken-loachs-welfare-state-polemic-is-blunt-dignified-and-brutally-moving

 

 

HB Anorak
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Good point about hiding behind “the decision-maker”.  This term is used in Tribunal rules as a catch-all for several different bodies whose decisions are subject to the same appeal procedure: efficient drafting, that’s all.  I would never use it in any written or face-to-face dealings with a claimant.

And don’t any of you pretend you didn’t click on Catherine Deneuve: you know you did.

John Birks
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Better to use the SSWP - That has both a name & face after all?

past caring
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I understand that a regular contributor here had significant involvement, but I’ll let them keep their light under a bushel…..

shawn mach
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Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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The Palme D’Or for a movie about social security? Good work.

Now let’s get casting for the sequel, I’ve got an anorak and I’m going to use it.

Gareth Morgan
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Script first.

Benefit system in flames.  DWP SoS - ” Frankly my dear ...”

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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What I found to be a slightly sarky review from the Guardian here.

Ken Loach’s win is cheering – but I, Daniel Blake’s bluntness may shock Brits

For example, Mr Barnes (the reviewer) notes that: “There’s nothing wrong with the points being made (many people do struggle with a benefits system that has moved the submission process online), it’s just that the film-makers’ ways of showing these issues are very blunt. - quite why he seems to expect subtly or light and shade when dealing with the blunt reality of poverty and social security is beyond me.

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Paul_Treloar_AgeUK - 24 May 2016 09:39 AM

What I found to be a slightly sarky review from the Guardian here.

Ken Loach’s win is cheering – but I, Daniel Blake’s bluntness may shock Brits

For example, Mr Barnes (the reviewer) notes that: “There’s nothing wrong with the points being made (many people do struggle with a benefits system that has moved the submission process online), it’s just that the film-makers’ ways of showing these issues are very blunt. - quite why he seems to expect subtly or light and shade when dealing with the blunt reality of poverty and social security is beyond me.

perhaps he hasn’t read his own paper’s reports on the adverse impact of the changes?

Mike Hughes
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Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Went to see this last night at a free screening courtesy of Unite (thanks to Sarah Batty for the heads up).

Wow, what a great film. It’s certainly not a misery-fest but it does make some very sombre and pertinent points about the Kafkaesque nature of the UK social security system as it stands at the moment and the real human cost that results. It has some warm humour, some dark episodes and makes a lot of very good and subtle points about the spin-offs of the punitive approach to welfare support more generally.

Well worth seeing and let’s hope that the Big Issue are correct in their assertion in this week’s issue that it may have some wider effect on government policy (I’m not holding my breath here…...)

Mike Hughes
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Hoping to see it imminently. Kind of overloaded with similar stuff in Manchester at present - https://gmwrag.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/from-powerlines-to-wish-list-busmans-holiday-for-anyone-who-wants-it - so I’m prioritising “I, Daniel Blake” as a friend of mine acts in it.

shawn@lasa
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there’s also this one that i went to last night ... just embarking on a 5 month UK tour of arts venues and prisons!

https://cardboardcitizens.org.uk/events/cathy-forum-theatre-tour-2016

Mike Hughes
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shawn mach - 12 October 2016 04:21 PM

there’s also this one that i went to last night ... just embarking on a 5 month UK tour of arts venues and prisons!

https://cardboardcitizens.org.uk/events/cathy-forum-theatre-tour-2016

Thanks for the heads up on that one Shawn. A click through revealed it’s coming to the Royal Exchange in Manchester in January 2017 so I can add that to the list of things to do that month.

shawn mach
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Guardian review just published:

This powerful parable about the failings of the benefits system avoids irony and cynicism and treats its troubled characters with humour and humanity

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/oct/20/i-daniel-blake-review-ken-loach-film-benefits-system

 

shawn mach
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SarahJBatty
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Powerful film about the real Daniel Blakes, even for those of us who have met countless people similarly affected .... hats off to Charlotte Hughes in Ashton-under-Lyme offering information, emergency food and solidarity outside the job centre every day.

The film I Daniel, Blake itself is just brilliant, and is upsetting even though you are kind of expecting something tragic to happen and are all too aware of what can happen ....I really liked that it highlights the ‘valuable’ roles that people play in society other than the sort of paid work the jobcentre would force you into .... such as neighbourly roles, friendships, caring for children, helping others in the community, looking out for trouble in your neighbourhood, art and creativity .....

There was a ‘discussion panel’ after the pre-screening in Middlesbrough, which was interesting, as there are so many perspectives on what needs to change about the system, but the audience was mostly people like me who already know this is happening, and have an idea of the scale.  There is a danger that those of us close to ‘the system’ of sanctions and WCA decisions, and whose role challenges them, in many cases with successful outcomes for individual cases of injustice can become immune to the just how bizarre the system has become.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Thought this was quite powerful from the food blogger Jack Monroe on the weekend I am Daniel Blake – and there are millions more like me

And Mark Kermode very impressed with the release in his review I, Daniel Blake review – a battle cry for the dispossessed

I’d tend to agree with Sarah insofar as her point about how immune one can become to how truly bizarre and demented our social security system has become now - its good sometimes to stand back from the day-to-day business and look across the piece as Mr Loach has done in this production. Good job we’ve got universal credit coming down the line to make things wonderful and rosy again…..

ClairemHodgson
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excellent film.  Mind, slightly distracted because it was filmed in Newcastle so ocasional “where’s that”, or “oh that’s there” (not to mention the occasional recognisable face!).  Sadly, not as powerful to me as it might have been - knowing what is happening, i found, slightly reduced the power the film would have to those who don’t know what’s happening.

and this https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/24/benefits-system-disabled-people-ken-loach-daniel-blake is a good article as well ...

1964
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It has a really positive write-up in the Guardian guide this week.

I just hope that the people who don’t know what’s happening see it.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Meanwhile, some brainerd called Camilla Long reviewed it for Sunday Times and whilst berating Loach for making poverty porn, also demonstrates a worrying lack of ability to even understand the simple plot:

As it is, Johns only comes alive at the wrong moments, losing his temper at every tiny problem, as if he is slyly anticipating their arrival. He spends days waiting for a response to his appeal from an Orwellian-sounding “decision maker”. What he actually wants to do is apply for sickness benefit, but a mysterious glitch says he is not sick and is only eligible for jobseekers’ allowance.

She repeats the misunderstanding about the doctor’s note more than once as well - she seems to think it’s simple administrative error, rather than a fundamental part of the social security system.

I, Daniel Blake and Keeping Up with the Joneses (register for 2 free articles a week, woohoo!!!)

shawn mach
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Paul_Treloar_AgeUK - 24 October 2016 09:24 AM

Thought this was quite powerful from the food blogger Jack Monroe on the weekend I am Daniel Blake – and there are millions more like me

‘Apology’ from Jack Monroe to the DWP ..

https://twitter.com/MxJackMonroe/status/790591668256997376

... apparently they contacted the guardian to say that the figure quoted of 2,400 deaths should have been 2,380

ClairemHodgson
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Paul_Treloar_AgeUK - 24 October 2016 11:08 AM

Meanwhile, some brainerd called Camilla Long reviewed it for Sunday Times and whilst berating Loach for making poverty porn, also demonstrates a worrying lack of ability to even understand the simple plot:

As it is, Johns only comes alive at the wrong moments, losing his temper at every tiny problem, as if he is slyly anticipating their arrival. He spends days waiting for a response to his appeal from an Orwellian-sounding “decision maker”. What he actually wants to do is apply for sickness benefit, but a mysterious glitch says he is not sick and is only eligible for jobseekers’ allowance.

She repeats the misunderstanding about the doctor’s note more than once as well - she seems to think it’s simple administrative error, rather than a fundamental part of the social security system.

I, Daniel Blake and Keeping Up with the Joneses (register for 2 free articles a week, woohoo!!!)

dear lord.

i assume you’ve emailed her to put her right?

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ClairemHodgson - 25 October 2016 10:38 AM

dear lord.

i assume you’ve emailed her to put her right?

What is the point?

Her reaction to people pointing out inaccuracies is to call them trolls sent by Ken Loach

I think she revels in her ignorance, rather than worries about it….

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Now Toby Young has weighed in and written a piece. It’s even more badly informed than Ms Long’s “review”.

See how many mistakes you can spot in this waste of words….

Why only Lefties could go misty eyed at a movie that romanticises Benefits Britain, says TOBY YOUNG

nevip
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I read this earlier.  He’s obviously never heard of Maximus

Elliot Kent
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Stopped reading the Toby Young article after this line:

“Would a middle-aged man who’s just had a massive heart attack really be declared ‘fit for work’ by the Department for Work and Pensions? “

Yes Toby, they almost certainly would be.

Doubtless reading the rest would do no good for my blood pressure.

ClairemHodgson
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he clearly has no clue.

i think the trouble is it is so kafkaeseque that no one would in fact believe it was true unless and until it happens to them.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Went to watch it again last night, with some ex-colleagues who hadn’t seen it, still made me angry and still hung together in general.

Anyway, here’s an interesting take on the production from a journo who says she used to work in a DWP call centre.

When I logged on to the computer every morning, an internal web page for DWP staff would pop up. It ran stories giving glowing reviews to the worst of poverty-shaming television, from Saints versus Scroungers to Benefit Street. It promoted featured articles that adopted all the standard tabloid vulgarisms: “skivers and strivers”, “junkies”, “layabouts”. From on high, the bosses imposed an “us and them” attitude and taught us to criminalise the communities we were meant to serve.

I, Daniel Blake is not a “poverty flick”, nor even a film about poverty. It’s about dignity, about society recognising you as a human being and not as a number. It’s about the relationships we create with one another to save us dying from state-imposed loneliness. The way we treat people on benefits becomes a metaphor for our society’s radical failure to recognise the humanity in others.

Cat Boyd: I, Daniel Blake lays bare process of dehumanisation practised at DWP

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I saw it a the weekend in the Tyneside cinema in Newcastle-first film i have been to that got applauded at the end.Mix of emotions-proud that i have been on the side of the Daniel Blakes of this world(people like me) but frustrated+angry that there is still a need for this kind of work.

Mike Hughes
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Afraid it was the second film I’ve seen where the audience applauded at the end. Standing In The Shadows Of Motown at the Cornerhouse in Manchester was the first. Audience actually stood and applauded for that. Some interesting parallels to be drawn as to what it was in both films that led people to that reaction. Cannot say I felt that as a response at the end of I, Daniel Blake at all. More stunned silence. A bit like at the end of the new Nick Cave album.