I, Daniel Blake

Director: Kenneth Loach
Year Released: 2016
Rating: 2.5

Christ-like carpenter Daniel (Dave Johns), who recently suffered a heart attack and is unable to return to work for medical and bureaucratic reasons (so much red tape), has a chance encounter with broke single mother Katie (Hayley Squires) trying to raise two kids: together, they do what they can to make it on a day-to-day basis. While I must applaud Loach for his efforts to raise awareness of lower-class difficulties and the nightmarish runaround of securing unemployment benefits from the state - it may not be a "fun" issue but it's serious and important - Loach is very quick to go for (very easy, very obvious) audience pity: Daniel is routinely belittled by case workers, Katie devours cold canned food in a shelter, Katie shoplifts (and is embarrassed by security), Katie turns to prostitution, Daniel (expectedly) suffers a second attack in a bathroom. Daniel's final act of rebellion - spray-painting the side of a government building - is a nice moment of catharsis, but even that small victory is short lived. Honestly, though: who doesn't know how to use a computer mouse nowadays?