Cannes 2016 has been the usual whirlwind of talent and celebrity, with Donald Sutherland, Kirsten Dunst and Vanessa Paradis taking to the judging panel, it was Ken Loach and his most recent directorial efforts that took home the coveted Palme D’Or for his characteristically real and conscious drama, I, Daniel Blake, making him only the 9th filmmaker to have won the Palme twice.
Loach’s socialist ideals and realism are starkly visible in the majority of his work. In Cathy Come Home, we see his wish to highlight social plight and issues through his work, and again, perhaps most famously through his adaptation of Barry Hine’s A Kestrel for a Knave, Kes.
Loach has also worked on acclaimed and hard hitting documentaries, including Which Side Are You On? In 1985, which was rejected by Channel 4 and The South Bank Show on the grounds of being too politically unbalanced, before finally being shown on Channel 4.
Loach’s first Palme D’Or success in Cannes came in 2006 for his film The Wind That Shakes the Barley, a harrowing account of the Irish War of Independence and Irish Civil War.
In summary, Loach is one of the greatest directors and thinkers that the UK has been lucky enough to witness, regardless of one’s political views, he makes you think, he demands that the stories he represents are heard. Loach does not dilute his messages and hopefully we will continue to enjoy this fantastic work.May 20, 2016