59-year-old Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) has worked as a joiner most of his life in Newcastle, but now, for the first time ever, he needs help from the State. He crosses paths with a single mother Katie (Hayley Squires) and her two young children, Daisy and Dylan. Katie's only chance to escape a one-roomed homeless hostel in London has been to accept a flat in a city she doesn't know, some 300 miles away. Daniel and Katie find themselves in no-man's land, caught on the barbed wire of welfare bureaucracy as played out against the rhetoric of 'striver and skiver' in modern day Britain. Loach tells his tale straight and with the confidence of someone who knows that they have a story to tell, with no need for bells and whistles. It's a spare film, muted in colour and unflashy - and it's all the more powerful and urgent for it. The quiet beauty of "I, Daniel Blake" - the reason it's the rare political drama that touches the soul - is that we believe, completely, in these people standing in front of us, as Ken Loach and the actors have imagined them. And when the movie ends, we feel like we won't forget them.
UK/France 2016 Ken Loach 100m