Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Ken Loach

Ken Loach

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Ken Loach'
Start a new discussion about 'Ken Loach'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Kenneth "Ken" Loach is a Palme D'Or
Palme d'Or
The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and is presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du...

 winning English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 film
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

 and television director
Television director
A television director directs the activities involved in making a television program and is part of a television crew.-Duties:The duties of a television director vary depending on whether the production is live or recorded to video tape or video server .In both types of productions, the...

.

He is known for his naturalistic, social realist
Social realism
Social Realism, also known as Socio-Realism, is an artistic movement, expressed in the visual and other realist arts, which depicts social and racial injustice, economic hardship, through unvarnished pictures of life's struggles; often depicting working class activities as heroic...

 directing style and for his socialist beliefs, which are evident in his film treatment of social issues such as homelessness
Homelessness
Homelessness describes the condition of people without a regular dwelling. People who are homeless are unable or unwilling to acquire and maintain regular, safe, and adequate housing, or lack "fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence." The legal definition of "homeless" varies from country...

 (Cathy Come Home
Cathy Come Home
Cathy Come Home is a 1966 BBC television play by Jeremy Sandford, produced by Tony Garnett and directed by Ken Loach, about homelessness. An industry poll rated it as the best British television drama ever made. Filmed in a gritty, realistic drama documentary style, it was first broadcast on 16...

), labour rights
Labor rights
Labor rights or workers' rights are a group of legal rights and claimed human rights having to do with labor relations between workers and their employers, usually obtained under labor and employment law. In general, these rights' debates have to do with negotiating workers' pay, benefits, and safe...

 (Riff-Raff) and child abuse
Child abuse
Child abuse is the physical, sexual, emotional mistreatment, or neglect of a child. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Children And Families define child maltreatment as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or...

 at the hands social
Social
The term social refers to a characteristic of living organisms...

, political and economic pressures (Kes
Kes (film)
Kes is a 1969 British film from director Ken Loach and producer Tony Garnett. The film is based on the novel A Kestrel for a Knave, written by the Barnsley-born author Barry Hines in 1968...

).

Early life and career


Loach was born in Nuneaton
Nuneaton
Nuneaton is the largest town in the Borough of Nuneaton and Bedworth and in the English county of Warwickshire.Nuneaton is most famous for its associations with the 19th century author George Eliot, who was born on a farm on the Arbury Estate just outside Nuneaton in 1819 and lived in the town for...

, Warwickshire
Warwickshire
Warwickshire is a landlocked non-metropolitan county in the West Midlands region of England. The county town is Warwick, although the largest town is Nuneaton. The county is famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare...

, the son of Vivien (née Hamlin) and John Loach. He attended King Edward VI Grammar School
King Edward VI College, Nuneaton
King Edward VI College is a sixth form college located in Nuneaton, England, in Warwickshire. Currently, it teaches subjects in preparation for AS and A-level Examinations, for students generally aged sixteen to eighteen.-Grammar school:...

 and following two years in the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 read law at St Peter's College
St Peter's College, Oxford
St Peter's College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, located in New Inn Hall Street. It occupies the site of two of the University's oldest Inns, or medieval hostels - Bishop Trellick's, later New Inn Hall, and Rose Hall - both of which were...

, Oxford. There he performed in the now well-established comedy group, the Oxford Revue
The Oxford Revue
The Oxford Revue is a comedy group featuring students from Oxford University, England. Founded in the early 1950s, The Oxford Revue has produced many prominent comedians and satirists. The Revue writes, produces and performs several shows each term...

. He initially worked as an actor in repertory theatre, but in the early 1960s moved into television direction and was credited in this role on early episodes of Z-Cars
Z-Cars
Z-Cars is a British television drama series centred on the work of mobile uniformed police in the fictional town of Newtown, based on Kirkby in the outskirts of Liverpool in Merseyside. Produced by the BBC, it debuted in January 1962 and ran until September 1978.-Origins:The series was developed by...

 in 1964.

In 1966, Loach made the influential docudrama Cathy Come Home
Cathy Come Home
Cathy Come Home is a 1966 BBC television play by Jeremy Sandford, produced by Tony Garnett and directed by Ken Loach, about homelessness. An industry poll rated it as the best British television drama ever made. Filmed in a gritty, realistic drama documentary style, it was first broadcast on 16...

 portraying working class people affected by homelessness and unemployment, and presenting a powerful and influential critique of the workings of the Social Services. Soon afterwards with Poor Cow
Poor Cow
Poor Cow is a 1967 British drama film directed by Ken Loach, based on Nell Dunn's novel of the same name.Although Malcolm McDowell is listed in the credits on the commercial release of the film, the scenes in which he appeared were deleted....

 (1967) he started directing films for the cinema, and in 1969 made Kes
Kes (film)
Kes is a 1969 British film from director Ken Loach and producer Tony Garnett. The film is based on the novel A Kestrel for a Knave, written by the Barnsley-born author Barry Hines in 1968...

, the story of a troubled boy and his kestrel
Common Kestrel
The Common Kestrel is a bird of prey species belonging to the kestrel group of the falcon family Falconidae. It is also known as the European Kestrel, Eurasian Kestrel, or Old World Kestrel. In Britain, where no other brown falcon occurs, it is generally just called "the kestrel".This species...

, based on the novel A Kestrel for a Knave
A Kestrel for a Knave
A Kestrel for a Knave is a novel by British author Barry Hines, published in 1968. It is set in Barnsley, South Yorkshire and tells of Billy Casper, a young working class boy troubled at home and at school, who only finds solace when he finds and trains a kestrel whom he names "Kes".The book was...

 by Barry Hines
Barry Hines
Melvin Barry Hines, FRSL is a British author who has written several popular novels and television scripts.-Early life:Born in the mining village of Hoyland Common near Barnsley, England, he attended Ecclesfield Grammar School and played football for the England Grammar Schools team...

. The British Film Institute named it No 7 in its list of best British films of the twentieth century, published in 1999.

During the 1970s and '80s, Loach's films were less successful, often suffering from poor distribution, lack of interest and political censorship. His film The Save the Children Fund Film (1971) was commissioned by the charity, who subsequently disliked it so much they attempted to have the negative destroyed. In fact, it was only screened publicly for the first time on 1 September 2011, at the BFI Southbank.

In 1982, Loach and Central Independent Television
Central Independent Television
Central Independent Television, more commonly known as Central is the Independent Television contractor for the Midlands, created following the restructuring of ATV and commencing broadcast on 1 January 1982. The station is owned and operated by ITV plc, under the licensee of ITV Broadcasting...

 were commissioned by Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 to make Questions of Leadership, a documentary series on the response of the British trade union movement to the challenge posed by the policies of the Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

 government, which also gave members an opportunity to call their own leaders to account. The programmes were not broadcast by Channel 4, a decision Loach claimed was politically motivated. In 2004, for the first time, the real reason for this censorship was revealed, in Anthony Hayward
Anthony Hayward
Anthony Hayward is a British journalist and author. He is a regular contributor to The Independent and The Guardian, and has written more than 20 books about television and film...

's book Which Side Are You On? Ken Loach and His Films. It emerged that the media tycoon Robert Maxwell
Robert Maxwell
Ian Robert Maxwell MC was a Czechoslovakian-born British media proprietor and former Member of Parliament , who rose from poverty to build an extensive publishing empire...

 had put pressure on Central's board, of which he had become a director, to withdraw Questions of Leadership at the time he was buying the Daily Mirror newspaper and needed the co-operation of union leaders, especially Frank Chapple of the electricians.

Another film, Which Side Are You On? (1985), about the songs and poems of the UK miners' strike, was commissioned by ITV's The South Bank Show
The South Bank Show
The South Bank Show was a television arts magazine show, originally made by London Weekend Television , presented by Melvyn Bragg, broadcast on ITV and seen in over 60 countries worldwide — including Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States...

, but also banned. The film was eventually transmitted on Channel 4, but only after it won a major prize at the Berlin International Film Festival
Berlin International Film Festival
The Berlin International Film Festival , also called the Berlinale, is one of the world's leading film festivals and most reputable media events. It is held in Berlin, Germany. Founded in West Berlin in 1951, the festival has been celebrated annually in February since 1978...

. Crucially, it was only shown towards the end of the miners' strike and not in the middle of the strike when it was originally scheduled.

The late 1980s and 1990s saw the production of a series of critically acclaimed and popular films such as Hidden Agenda, one of the rare films dealing with the political troubles in Northern Ireland, Carla's Song set partially in Nicaragua, and Land and Freedom examining the Republican resistance in the Spanish Civil War. "Land and Freedom" contains a quintessentially Loach sequence of a 20 minute political discussion amongst villagers trying to decide whether or not a village's smallholdings should be collectivized. During this period he was also awarded prizes at the Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes International Film Festival , is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres including documentaries from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is among the world's most prestigious and publicized film festivals...

 on three occasions. He directed the Courtroom Drama reconstructions in the docu-film McLibel
McLibel (film)
McLibel is a documentary film directed by Franny Armstrong and Ken Loach for Spanner Films about the McLibel case. The film was first completed, as a 52 minute television version, in 1997, after the conclusion of the original McLibel trial...

, concerning the longest libel trial in English history, which became a promotional disaster for the fast food chain. Interspersed with overtly political films were smaller dramas such as Raining Stones a working class drama concerning an unemployed man's efforts to buy a communion dress for his young daughter.

On 28 May 2006, Loach won the Palme d'Or
Palme d'Or
The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and is presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du...

 at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival
2006 Cannes Film Festival
The 2006 Cannes Film Festival ran from May 17, 2006 to May 28, 2006. Twenty films from eleven countries were in competition for the Palme d'Or. The President of the Official Jury was Wong Kar-wai, the first Chinese director to preside over the jury....

 for his film The Wind That Shakes the Barley
The Wind That Shakes the Barley (film)
The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a 2006 Irish war drama film directed by Ken Loach, set during the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War...

, a film about the Irish War of Independence
Irish War of Independence
The Irish War of Independence , Anglo-Irish War, Black and Tan War, or Tan War was a guerrilla war mounted by the Irish Republican Army against the British government and its forces in Ireland. It began in January 1919, following the Irish Republic's declaration of independence. Both sides agreed...

 and the subsequent Irish Civil War
Irish Civil War
The Irish Civil War was a conflict that accompanied the establishment of the Irish Free State as an entity independent from the United Kingdom within the British Empire....

 during the 1920s. In characteristic fashion this sweeping political-historical drama was followed by It's a Free World a story of one woman's attempt to establish an illegal placement service for migrant workers in London. Throughout the 2000s Loach continued to intersperse wider political dramas such as Bread and Roses (which focused on the Los Angeles janitors strike) and Route Irish, set in the Iraq occupation, with smaller examinations of personal relationships. Ae Fond Kiss explored an inter-racial love affair, Sweet Sixteen a teenager's relationship with his mother, and My Name is Joe an alcoholic's struggle to stay sober. His most commercially successful recent film is 2009's Looking For Eric, featuring a depressed postman's conversations with the ex-Manchester United football star, Eric Cantona (played by Cantona himself). A measure of Loach's difficulties gaining broad release for his work is the fact that this film ended up making only £12,000 profit.

In 2011 he released Route Irish, an examination of private contractors working in the Iraqi occupation. A thematic consistency throughout his films, whether they examine broad political situations, or smaller intimate dramas, is his focus on personal relationships. The sweeping political dramas (Land and Freedom, Bread and Roses, The Wind that Shakes the Barley) examine wider political forces in the context of relationships between family members (Bread and Roses, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Carla's Song), comrades in struggle (Land and Freedom) or close friends (Route Irish). In a 2011 interview for the Financial Times, Loach explains how "The politics are embedded into the characters and the narrative, which is a more sophisticated way of doing it".

Loach lives with his wife, Lesley, in Bath, where he is a supporter of and shareholder
Shareholder
A shareholder or stockholder is an individual or institution that legally owns one or more shares of stock in a public or private corporation. Shareholders own the stock, but not the corporation itself ....

 in Bath City F.C.
Bath City F.C.
Bath City Football Club are a semi-professional football club based in Bath, Somerset. They play in the Conference National league after gaining promotion from the Conference South via the play-offs in May 2010...

 A short film concerning Bath FC is part of the DVD issue of "Looking for Erik". His son Jim Loach
Jim Loach
Jim Loach is an English film director. He is the son of the film director Ken Loach.-Biography:Loach was born in London, and studied philosophy at University College, London, intending to pursue a career in journalism. He joined the BBC where he worked as a researcher for Sue Lawley and Anne...

 has also become a television and film director.

Loach is currently shooting his new film 'The Angel's Share'; he was spotted in June 2011 on set in a Scottish distillery. The film centers around a young Scottish troublemaker who is given one final opportunity to stay out of jail. Newcomer Paul Brannigan, 24, from Glasgow is set to play the lead role.

Film style



Loach's film work is characterised by a particular view of realism
Realism (arts)
Realism in the visual arts and literature refers to the general attempt to depict subjects "in accordance with secular, empirical rules", as they are considered to exist in third person objective reality, without embellishment or interpretation...

; he strives in every area of filmmaking to emphasise genuine interplay between actors, to the point where some scenes in his films appear unscripted. All scenes are carefully scripted, around which some improvisation can occur. The final script and the final film are actually very close.
Loach values having a strong, creative partnership with scriptwriters, most recently with Paul Laverty
Paul Laverty
Paul Laverty is a Scottish lawyer and scriptwriter.-Birth and early career:Paul Laverty was born in Calcutta, India, to an Irish mother and Scottish father. He obtained a Philosophy degree at the Gregorian University in Rome...

, who has written nine feature films for Loach (including The Wind That Shakes The Barley and Sweet Sixteen), and previously with Jim Allen
Jim Allen (playwright)
James "Jim" Allen was a socialist playwright from England, best known for his collaborations with Ken Loach.- Early life :...

 (Land & Freedom) and Barry Hines
Barry Hines
Melvin Barry Hines, FRSL is a British author who has written several popular novels and television scripts.-Early life:Born in the mining village of Hoyland Common near Barnsley, England, he attended Ecclesfield Grammar School and played football for the England Grammar Schools team...

 (Kes).

In May 2010, Loach told Tom Lamont in an interview about the three films that have influenced him most: Vittorio De Sica
Vittorio de Sica
Vittorio De Sica was an Italian director and actor, a leading figure in the neorealist movement....

's Bicycle Thieves
Bicycle Thieves
Bicycle Thieves , also known as The Bicycle Thief, is a 1948 Italian neorealist film directed by Vittorio De Sica. It tells the story of a poor man searching the streets of Rome for his stolen bicycle, which he needs to be able to work. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Luigi...

 (1948), Milos Forman
Miloš Forman
Jan Tomáš Forman , better known as Miloš Forman , is a Czech-American director, screenwriter, professor, and an emigrant from Czechoslovakia. Two of his films, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus, are among the most celebrated in the history of film, both gaining him the Academy Award for...

's Loves of a Blonde
Loves of a Blonde
Loves of a Blonde is a 1965 Czechoslovakian film directed by Miloš Forman. It is also known under the alternate title of A Blonde in Love.-Plot:...

 (1965) and Gillo Pontecorvo
Gillo Pontecorvo
Gillo Pontecorvo was an Italian filmmaker. He worked as a film director for more than a decade before his best known film La battaglia di Algeri was released...

's Battle of Algiers
Battle of Algiers
Battle of Algiers or Algiers expedition may refer to:* The Siege of Algiers by Spain leading to the establishment of the Peñón of Algiers* The Capture of Algiers by Aruj Barbarossa* The Capture of Algiers by Hayreddin Barbarossa...

 (1966). De Sica's film had a particularly profound effect on Loach: "It made me realise that cinema could be about ordinary people and their dilemmas. It wasn't a film about stars, or riches or absurd adventures."

Rather than employing method actors, he prefers unknown talent who have had some of the life experience of the characters they portray. Loach's film work has been described as naturalistic; he emphasises the genuine interplay between actors, and foregoes over-dependence on special effects. He succeeds in creating a spontaneous, realistic atmosphere in scenes and many actors, from Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Lee Hoffman is an American actor with a career in film, television, and theatre since 1960. He has been known for his versatile portrayals of antiheroes and vulnerable characters....

 and Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
Robert Selden Duvall is an American actor and director. He has won an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and a BAFTA over the course of his career....

 to Robert Carlyle (Carla's Song
Carla's Song
Carla's Song is a British movie directed by Ken Loach with screenplay by Paul Laverty.Set in 1987, it tells the story of the relationship between a Scottish bus driver, George Lennox and Carla , a Nicaraguan woman living in exile in Glasgow...

 and Riff-Raff) and Peter Mullan
Peter Mullan
Peter Mullan is a Scottish actor and film-maker who has been appearing in films since 1990.-Early life:Mullan, the sixth of eight children, was born in Peterhead in the northeast of Scotland, the son of Patricia, a nurse, and Charles Mullan, a lab technician who worked at Glasgow University. He...

 (My Name Is Joe
My Name Is Joe
My Name Is Joe is a 1998 Scottish film directed by Ken Loach. The film stars Peter Mullan as Joe Kavanagh, an unemployed recovering alcoholic in Glasgow who meets and falls in love with a health visitor. David McKay plays his troubled friend Liam...

) have praised the performances he coaxes from actors and how he treats them.

In Bread and Roses
Bread and Roses (film)
Bread and Roses is a 2000 drama film directed by Ken Loach, starring Adrien Brody. The plot deals with the struggle of poorly paid janitorial workers in Los Angeles and their fight for better working conditions and the right to unionize...

, a film about immigrant cleaners in LA, many of the extras were Latino
Latino
The demonyms Latino and Latina , are defined in English language dictionaries as:* "a person of Latin-American descent."* "A Latin American."* "A person of Hispanic, especially Latin-American, descent, often one living in the United States."...

 immigrant cleaners. Some were also trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

 and grassroots activists. Some knew from their own experience the dangers of crossing the border into the US. Adrien Brody
Adrien Brody
Adrien Brody is an American actor and film producer. He received widespread recognition and acclaim after starring in Roman Polanski's The Pianist . Winning the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2003 at age 29, he is the youngest actor to do so...

, the main actor, spent time with activists to understand his role better. Pilar Padilla, a Mexican actress and protagonist of the film, had to learn English in a crash course to play the part.

Loach makes great efforts to help the actors express themselves naturally and honestly. He believes that shooting in order, from first scene to last, helps the actors to find a response to their circumstances. Many actors in his films are often not given the full script at the beginning of a shoot, but rather they experience the story just as a fictional character might do. He will often give actors their scenes a couple of days in advance so they can learn their lines, but they still won't know what comes after that. If a scene involves shock or surprise for a character, the actor might not know what is about to happen. In Kes the boy actor, discovering the dead bird at the end, believed Loach had killed the bird, which he had become fond of during the filming (the crew used a dead bird found elsewhere). What is more, in the scene where Mr Gryce is searching the schoolboys, the small first year holding everybody else's cigarettes was under the impression that he was to give the headmaster a note and leave the office. Subsequently, when he is searched and found to be "a right little cigarette factory", he is caned alongside the other boys; hence, his look of shock and tears of pain are real. In Raining Stones one of the actresses visited at her house by a loan shark
Loan shark
A loan shark is a person or body that offers unsecured loans at illegally high interest rates to individuals, often enforcing repayment by blackmail or threats of violence....

 had no idea that he was going to force her to take off her wedding ring and give it to him as part payment. In Carla's Song, the bus driver, played by Robert Carlyle, knew nothing of Carla's attempted suicide until he discovered her in the bath. In Looking For Eric, the main actor Steve Evets
Steve Evets
Steve Evets is an English actor and musician, who found fame in the leading role in the 2009 film Looking for Eric.-Personal life:...

 discovered that football icon Eric Cantona
Eric Cantona
Eric Daniel Pierre Cantona is a French actor and former French international footballer. He played for Auxerre, Martigues, Marseille, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nîmes and Leeds United before ending his professional footballing career at Manchester United, where he won four Premier League titles in...

 was in the film only when he turned around to face him in a scene, with the camera rolling.

Loach opposes censorship
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 in cinema and was outraged at the "18" certificate given to Sweet Sixteen
Sweet Sixteen (2002 film)
Sweet Sixteen is a 2002 film by director Ken Loach. The film tells the story of a working class Scottish teenage boy, Liam , a typical 'ned', who dreams of starting afresh with his mother who is completing a prison term...

. Loach said,

Political activities


Throughout his career Loach's films have been shelved for political reasons. In a 2011 interview with the Guardian newspaper he said "It makes you angry, not on your own behalf, but on behalf of the people whose voices weren't allowed to be heard. When you had trade unions, ordinary people, rank and file, never been on television, never been interviewed, and they're not allowed to be heard, that's scandalous. And you see it over and over again. I mean, we heard very little from the kids in the riots. You hear some people being inarticulate in a hood, but very few people were actually allowed to speak". In the same interview his focus on working people's lives is explained thusly: "I think the underlying factors regarding the riots are plain for anyone with eyes to see … It seems to me any economic structure that could give young people a future has been destroyed. Traditionally young people would be drawn into the world of work, and into groups of adults who would send the boys for a lefthanded screwdriver, or a pot of elbow grease, and so they'd be sent up in that way, but they would also learn about responsibilities, and learn a trade, and be defined by their skills. Well, they destroyed that. Thatcher destroyed that. She consciously destroyed the workforces in places like the railways, for example, and the mines, and the steelworks … so that transition from adolescence to adulthood was destroyed, consciously, and knowingly." He argues that working people's struggles are inherently dramatic: "They live life very vividly, and the stakes are very high if you don't have a lot of money to cushion your life. Also, because they're the front line of what we came to call the class war. Either through being workers without work, or through being exploited where they were working. And I guess for a political reason, because we felt, and I still think, that if there is to be change, it will come from below. It won't come from people who have a lot to lose, it will come from people who will have everything to gain." This explains how Loach regards politics and drama as intertwined, rather than existing in separate spheres.

A member of the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 from the early 1960s, Loach left in the mid-1990s. In November 2004, he was elected to the national council of the Respect Coalition
RESPECT The Unity Coalition
Respect is a socialist political party in England and Wales founded in 2004. Its name is a contrived acronym standing for Respect, Equality, Socialism, Peace, Environmentalism, Community and Trade Unionism.-Policies:...

 He stood for election to the European Parliament on a Respect
RESPECT The Unity Coalition
Respect is a socialist political party in England and Wales founded in 2004. Its name is a contrived acronym standing for Respect, Equality, Socialism, Peace, Environmentalism, Community and Trade Unionism.-Policies:...

 mandate. He supports the Socialist Resistance
Socialist Resistance
Socialist Resistance is a Trotskyist and ecosocialist organisation in Britain which publishes a Marxist periodical of the same name. In July 2009 the International Socialist Group merged into it, making SR the British Section of the Fourth International.-Origins:It was launched on 8 September...

 organisation. Also, he supports the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural
Academic boycotts of Israel
Proposals for an academic boycott of Israel have been inspired by the historic academic boycotts of South Africa which were an attempt to pressure South Africa to end its policies of Apartheid....

 Boycott of the State of Israel, backed by many intellectuals in Palestinian civil society, including writers, filmmakers, students, trade unions and human rights groups. PACBI is in turn part of a wider global international movement: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), that opposes actions by the Israeli State.

In 2007, Loach was one of more than 100 artists and writers who signed an open letter initiated by Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism
Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism
Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism was founded in early 2001 by members of and individuals formerly associated with DAGGER , which was active during the first Gulf War.-Goals:...

 and the South West Asian, North African Bay Area Queers (SWANABAQ) and calling on the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival "to honour calls for an international boycott of Israeli political and cultural institutions
Economic and political boycotts of Israel
Boycotts of Israel are economic and political cultural campaigns or actions that seek a selective or total cutting of ties with the State of Israel...

, by discontinuing Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i consulate sponsorship of the LGBT film festival and not co-sponsoring events with the Israeli consulate." Loach also joined "54 international figures in the literary and cultural fields" in signing a letter that stated, in part, "celebrating 'Israel at 60' is tantamount to dancing on Palestinian graves to the haunting tune of lingering dispossession and multi-faceted injustice". The letter was published in the International Herald Tribune
International Herald Tribune
The International Herald Tribune is a widely read English language international newspaper. It combines the resources of its own correspondents with those of The New York Times and is printed at 38 sites throughout the world, for sale in more than 160 countries and territories...

 on 8 May 2008."

Responding to a report, which he described as "a red herring", on the growth of antisemitism since the beginning of the Gaza War, he has said: "If there has been a rise I am not surprised. In fact, it is perfectly understandable because Israel feeds feelings of anti-Semitism." He added "no-one can condone violence".

In May 2009, organisers of the Edinburgh International Film Festival
Edinburgh International Film Festival
The Edinburgh International Film Festival is an annual fortnight of cinema screenings and related events taking place each June. Established in 1947, it is the world's oldest continually running film festival...

 returned a £300 grant from the Israeli Embassy after speaking with Ken Loach. The director was supporting a boycott of the festival called for by the PACBI campaign.
In response, former Channel 4 chief executive Sir Jeremy Isaacs describing Loach's intervention as an act of censorship, he said: "They must not allow someone who has no real position, no rock to stand on, to interfere with their programming." Later, a spokesman for the EIFF said that although it had returned £300 to the Israeli Embassy, the festival itself would fund Israeli filmmaker Tali Shalom-Ezer's travel to Edinburgh out of its own budget. In an open letter to Ms Shalom Ezer, Ken Loach wrote "From the beginning, Israel and its supporters have attacked their critics as anti-semites or racists. It is a tactic to undermine rational debate. To be crystal clear: as a film maker you will receive a warm welcome in Edinburgh. You are not censored or rejected. The opposition was to the Festival’s taking money from the Israeli state". To his critics, he added later: "The boycott, as anyone who takes the trouble to investigate knows, is aimed at the Israeli state." Loach said he had a "respectful and reasoned" conversation with event organisers, saying they should not be accepting funds from Israel.

In June 2009, Loach, Paul Laverty (writer) and Rebecca O'Brien (producer) pulled their film Looking For Eric from the Melbourne International Film Festival
Melbourne International Film Festival
The Melbourne International Film Festival is an acclaimed annual film festival held over three weeks in Melbourne, Australia. It was founded in 1951, making it one of the oldest in the World....

, where the Israeli Embassy is a sponsor, after the festival declined the withdraw their sponsorship. The festival's chief executive, Richard Moore, compared Loach's tactics to blackmail, stating that "we will not participate in a boycott against the State of Israel, just as we would not contemplate boycotting films from China or other nations involved in difficult long-standing historical disputes.” Australian lawmaker Michael Danby
Michael Danby
Michael David Danby is an Australian politician and has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since October 1998, representing the Division of Melbourne Ports, Victoria...

 also criticised Loach’s tactics stating that “Israelis and Australians have always had a lot in common, including contempt for the irritating British penchant for claiming cultural superiority. Melbourne is a very different place to Londonistan.”

Loach, Laverty and O'Brien subsequently wrote that: "We feel duty bound to take advice from those living at the sharp end inside the occupied territories. We would also encourage other filmmakers and actors invited to festivals to check for Israeli state backing before attending, and if so, to respect the boycott. Israeli filmmakers are not the target. State involvement is. In the grand scale of things it is a tiny contribution to a growing movement, but the example of South Africa should give us heart".

Loach has also expressed strong support for Chechen
Chechnya
The Chechen Republic , commonly referred to as Chechnya , also spelled Chechnia or Chechenia, sometimes referred to as Ichkeria , is a federal subject of Russia . It is located in the southeastern part of Europe in the Northern Caucasus mountains. The capital of the republic is the city of Grozny...

 independence from Russia.

Loach is a Patron of several charities, including Doorway, a homeless charity in Nuneaton, and Developing Health and Independence (DHI) in Bath.

Together with John Pilger
John Pilger
John Richard Pilger is an Australian journalist and documentary maker, based in London. He has twice won Britain's Journalist of the Year Award, and his documentaries have received academy awards in Britain and the US....

 and Jemima Khan
Jemima Khan
Jemima Marcelle Khan is a British writer and campaigner. She is associate editor of the New Statesman and European editor-at-large for Vanity Fair. She has worked as a charity fundraiser, human rights campaigner and contributing writer for British newspapers and magazines...

, Ken Loach was among the six people in court willing to offer surety
Surety
A surety or guarantee, in finance, is a promise by one party to assume responsibility for the debt obligation of a borrower if that borrower defaults...

 for Julian Assange
Julian Assange
Julian Paul Assange is an Australian publisher, journalist, writer, computer programmer and Internet activist. He is the editor in chief of WikiLeaks, a whistleblower website and conduit for worldwide news leaks with the stated purpose of creating open governments.WikiLeaks has published material...

 when he was arrested in London on 7 December 2010. In a recent interview with ShortList magazine he said "It’s clear that he’s being set up. Clearly the Yanks want to get him back and either imprison him for a long time, or worse. We need a bit of solidarity with someone who has just told us things that we were entitled to know."

Honours


Loach turned down an OBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 in 1977. In a Radio Times
Radio Times
Radio Times is a UK weekly television and radio programme listings magazine, owned by the BBC. It has been published since 1923 by BBC Magazines, which also provides an on-line listings service under the same title...

 interview, published in March 2001, he said: "It's all the things I think are despicable: patronage, deferring to the monarchy and the name of the British Empire, which is a monument of exploitation and conquest."

Loach has been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Birmingham
University of Birmingham
The University of Birmingham is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Birmingham, England. It received its royal charter in 1900 as a successor to Birmingham Medical School and Mason Science College . Birmingham was the first Redbrick university to gain a charter and thus...

, Staffordshire University
Staffordshire University
Staffordshire University is a university with its main campus based in the city of Stoke-on-Trent, and with other campuses in Stafford, Lichfield and Shrewsbury.- History :...

, and Keele University
Keele University
Keele University is a campus university near Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire, England. Founded in 1949 as an experimental college dedicated to a broad curriculum and interdisciplinary study, Keele is most notable for pioneering the dual honours degree in Britain...

. Oxford University
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 awarded him an Honorary
Honorary degree
An honorary degree or a degree honoris causa is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, study, and the passing of examinations...

 Doctor of Civil Law
Doctor of Civil Law
Doctor of Civil Law is a degree offered by some universities, such as the University of Oxford, instead of the more common Doctor of Laws degrees....

 degree in June 2005. He is also an honorary fellow of his alma mater, St Peter's College, Oxford. In May 2006, he was awarded the BAFTA Fellow
Fellow
A fellow in the broadest sense is someone who is an equal or a comrade. The term fellow is also used to describe a person, particularly by those in the upper social classes. It is most often used in an academic context: a fellow is often part of an elite group of learned people who are awarded...

ship at the BAFTA TV Awards.

He received the 2003 Praemium Imperiale (lit. "World Culture Prize in Memory of His Imperial Highness Prince Takamatsu") in the category Film/Theatre.

Television

  • Catherine ("Teletale", 1964)
  • Z-Cars
    Z-Cars
    Z-Cars is a British television drama series centred on the work of mobile uniformed police in the fictional town of Newtown, based on Kirkby in the outskirts of Liverpool in Merseyside. Produced by the BBC, it debuted in January 1962 and ran until September 1978.-Origins:The series was developed by...

     (series, 1964)
  • Diary of a Young Man (1964)
  • Tap on the Shoulder (Play for Today
    Play for Today
    Play for Today is a British television anthology drama series, produced by the BBC and transmitted on BBC1 from 1970 to 1984. During the run, more than three hundred programmes, featuring original television plays, and adaptations of stage plays and novels, were transmitted...

    , 1965)
  • Wear a Very Big Hat (Play for Today, 1965)
  • Three Clear Sundays (Play for Today, 1965)
  • Up the Junction
    Up the Junction
    Up the Junction is a 1963 novel by Nell Dunn that depicts contemporary life in the industrial slums of Battersea near Clapham Junction.The book uses colloquial speech, and its portrayal of petty thieving, sexual encounters, births, deaths and back-street abortion provided a view of life that was...

     (Play for Today, 1965)
  • The End of Arthur's Marriage (Play for Today, 1965)
  • The Coming Out Party (Play for Today, 1965)
  • Cathy Come Home
    Cathy Come Home
    Cathy Come Home is a 1966 BBC television play by Jeremy Sandford, produced by Tony Garnett and directed by Ken Loach, about homelessness. An industry poll rated it as the best British television drama ever made. Filmed in a gritty, realistic drama documentary style, it was first broadcast on 16...

     (Play for Today, 1966)
  • In Two Minds (Play for Today, 1967)
  • The Golden Vision (Play for Today, 1968)
  • The Big Flame (Play for Today, 1969)
  • The Rank and the File (Play for Today, 1971)
  • After a Lifetime ("Sunday Night Theatre", 1971)
  • A Misfortune ("Full House", 1973)
  • Days of Hope
    Days of Hope
    Days of Hope is a BBC television drama serial produced in 1975. The series dealt with the lives of a working-class family from the turmoils of the First World War in 1916 to the General Strike in 1926...

     (mini-series, 1975)
  • The Price of Coal
    The Price of Coal
    The Price of Coal is two linked television plays from 1977, scripted by Barry Hines and directed by Ken Loach.They are set in a Yorkshire coal mine...

     (1977)
  • The Gamekeeper
    The Gamekeeper (film)
    The Gamekeeper is a 1980 British drama film directed by Ken Loach. It competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.-Cast:* Phil Askham - George Purse* Rita May - Mary* Andrew Grubb - John* Peter Steels - Ian...

     (1980)
  • Auditions (1980)
  • A Question of Leadership (1981)
  • The Red and the Blue: Impressions of Two Political Conferences - Autumn 1982 (1983)
  • Questions of Leadership (1983/4, untransmitted)
  • Which Side Are You On? (1985)
  • End of the Battle... Not the End of the War ("Diverse Reports", 1985)
  • Time to Go ("Split Screen", 1989)
  • The View From the Woodpile (1989)
  • The Arthur Legend ("Dispatches", 1991)
  • The Flickering Flame (1996)
  • Another City: A Week in the Life of Bath's Football Club (1998)

Cinema

  • Poor Cow
    Poor Cow
    Poor Cow is a 1967 British drama film directed by Ken Loach, based on Nell Dunn's novel of the same name.Although Malcolm McDowell is listed in the credits on the commercial release of the film, the scenes in which he appeared were deleted....

     (1967)
  • Kes
    Kes (film)
    Kes is a 1969 British film from director Ken Loach and producer Tony Garnett. The film is based on the novel A Kestrel for a Knave, written by the Barnsley-born author Barry Hines in 1968...

     (1969) (as Kenneth Loach)
  • The Save the Children Fund Film (1971)
  • Family Life
    Family Life (1971 British film)
    Family Life is a 1971 British drama film directed by Ken Loach. The film won 5 awards and was nominated for one.-Cast:*Sandy Ratcliff ... Janice Baildon*Bill Dean ... Mr. Baildon*Grace Cave ... Mrs. Baildon*Malcolm Tierney ... Tim...

     (1971)
  • Black Jack (1979)
  • Looks and Smiles
    Looks and Smiles (film)
    Looks and Smiles is a 1981 film by Ken Loach and based on the novel of the same name by Barry Hines. It was shot in black and white.In 1980s Sheffield, Mick and Alan, two school-leavers, face the reality of life in Margaret Thatcher's Britain...

     (1981) (as Kenneth Loach)
  • Fatherland (1986)
  • Hidden Agenda
    Hidden Agenda (1990 film)
    Hidden Agenda , directed by Ken Loach, is a political thriller about British terrorism in Northern Ireland that includes the assassination of an American civil rights lawyer.-Plot and historical context:...

     (1990). Cannes Special Jury Prize.
  • Riff-Raff (1991). European Film Award Best Picture
  • Raining Stones
    Raining Stones
    Raining Stones is a 1993 film directed by Ken Loach and starring Bruce Jones, Julie Brown, Ricky Tomlinson, Tom Hickey and Gemma Phoenix. It tells the story of a man who cannot afford to buy his daughter a First Communion dress, and makes disastrous choices in trying to raise the money...

     (1993). Cannes Special Jury Prize.
  • Ladybird Ladybird (1994)
  • Land and Freedom
    Land and Freedom
    Land and Freedom is a 1995 film directed by Ken Loach and written by Jim Allen. The film narrates the story of David Carr, an unemployed worker and member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, who decides to fight for the republican side in the Spanish Civil War...

     (1995). FIPRESCI
    FIPRESCI
    The International Federation of Film Critics is an association of national organizations of professional film critics and film journalists from around the world for "the promotion and development of film culture and for the safeguarding of professional interests." It was founded in June 1930 in...

     International Critics Prize; Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
    Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
    The Prize of the Ecumenical Jury is an independent film award for feature films at the Cannes Film Festival since 1974. The Ecumenical Jury is one of three juries at the Cannes Film Festival, along with the official jury and the FIPRESCI jury. The award was created by Christian film makers, film...

     at the Cannes Film Festival; European Film Award Best Picture
  • A Contemporary Case for Common Ownership (1995)
  • Carla's Song
    Carla's Song
    Carla's Song is a British movie directed by Ken Loach with screenplay by Paul Laverty.Set in 1987, it tells the story of the relationship between a Scottish bus driver, George Lennox and Carla , a Nicaraguan woman living in exile in Glasgow...

     (1996)
  • The Flickering Flame (1997)
  • My Name Is Joe
    My Name Is Joe
    My Name Is Joe is a 1998 Scottish film directed by Ken Loach. The film stars Peter Mullan as Joe Kavanagh, an unemployed recovering alcoholic in Glasgow who meets and falls in love with a health visitor. David McKay plays his troubled friend Liam...

     (1998)
  • Bread and Roses
    Bread and Roses (film)
    Bread and Roses is a 2000 drama film directed by Ken Loach, starring Adrien Brody. The plot deals with the struggle of poorly paid janitorial workers in Los Angeles and their fight for better working conditions and the right to unionize...

     (2000)
  • The Navigators (2001)
  • Sweet Sixteen (2002)
  • 11'09"01 September 11 (segment "United Kingdom") (2002)
  • Ae Fond Kiss...
    Ae Fond Kiss...
    Ae Fond Kiss... is a 2004 romantic drama film directed by Ken Loach, and starring Atta Yaqub and Eva Birthistle. The title is taken from a Scottish song by Robert Burns, the complete line being "Ae fond kiss, and then we sever..."-Plot:Casim Khan is a Glaswegian DJ of Pakistani origin...

     (2004)
  • Tickets
    Tickets (film)
    Tickets is a 2005 comedy-drama film directed by Abbas Kiarostami, Ken Loach and Ermanno Olmi....

     (2005), along with Ermanno Olmi
    Ermanno Olmi
    Ermanno Olmi is a renowned Italian film director.-Biography:Olmi was born in Bergamo, Lombardy. He is married to Loredana Detto, who played Antonietta Masetti in Il Posto....

     and Abbas Kiarostami
    Abbas Kiarostami
    Abbas Kiarostami is an internationally acclaimed Iranian film director, screenwriter, photographer and film producer. An active filmmaker since 1970, Kiarostami has been involved in over forty films, including shorts and documentaries...

  • The Wind That Shakes the Barley
    The Wind That Shakes the Barley (film)
    The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a 2006 Irish war drama film directed by Ken Loach, set during the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War...

     (2006) Palme d'Or
    Palme d'Or
    The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and is presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du...

    , Cannes
  • It's a Free World...
    It's a Free World...
    It's a Free World... is a 2007 drama film directed by Ken Loach and written by Paul Laverty. Laverty won the Golden Osella at the 2007 Venice Film Festival...

     (2007) Screenplay Osella at 64th Venice Film Festival
  • Looking for Eric (2009)
  • Route Irish
    Route Irish (film)
    Route Irish is a 2010 drama-thriller film directed by Ken Loach and written by Paul Laverty. It is set in Liverpool and focuses on the consequences suffered by private security contractors after fighting in the Iraq War. The title comes from the Baghdad Airport Road, known as "Route Irish". The...

     (2010)

External links