- Title: Ken Loach talks "I, Daniel Blake" ahead of German release
- Date: 11th November 2016
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (RECENT - OCTOBER 24, 2016) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR, KEN LOACH, SAYING: "And people are very open, and the easy answers of the right: okay, you have no work? Blame the foreigner! Blame the person with the different skin colour! Blame someone who speaks a different language. Instead of saying: this is... what they are trying to do is, they divide the working class, one from the other."
- Embargoed: 26th November 2016 15:15
- Keywords: Ken Loach Daniel Blake film Cannes unemployed sanctions
- Location: BERLIN, GERMANY / UNKNOWN LOCATION
- City: BERLIN, GERMANY / UNKNOWN LOCATION
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA00A5802KI5
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Veteran director Ken Loach warns in his award-winning drama "I, Daniel Blake" against the negative impact of welfare cuts and spoke about the rise of the right-wing ahead of the release of his movie in Germany.
"I, Daniel Blake" tells the story of how Britain's social security system pushes a downtrodden carpenter and a single mother of two into poverty in the north-eastern English city of Newcastle.
Stand-up comedian Dave Johns plays joiner Daniel who is denied disability benefits when unable to work through illness. He befriends young mother Katie (newcomer Hayley Squires) as they battle with the authorities.
Loach, who won the prestigious Palme d'Or trophy at the Cannes film festival for the drama, said that the story is widespread.
"I hope it is. Because the story it reveals is very widespread. And the state bureaucracy is used to humiliate people when they have no work, when they are sick and they can't work. It's being used to tell them their situation is their own fault, they're inadequate. And if they don't do what the state demands - which they can't do in many cases - then their small amount of money will be stopped. And so hunger is being used as a weapon," the director told Reuters.
The filmmaker added that sanctions against the unemployed are not only common but demanded by job centre workers.
"Now, the government denies this. But everybody knows it's true. If you are working in a job centre you will be in trouble if you don't sanction, that is stop the money, for certain number of people each week," he said. "So this is, again, this is to see the person who needs help as a problem, and you gotta get rid of them as fast as possible."
Loach also told Reuters that he is very worried about the far-right becoming an appealing prospect for people who are frustrated with politics.
"And people are very open, and the easy answers of the right: okay, you have no work? Blame the foreigner! Blame the person with the different skin colour! Blame someone who speaks a different language. Instead of saying: this is... what they are trying to do is, they divide the working class, one from the other," said Loach.
"I, Daniel Blake" opens in cinemas in Germany on November 24.
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