Creative platform such as music, poetry, theater or film has long been a medium for people to convey a critique or describe a blatant portrayal of the system, whether it’s from the current era or in the past. “I, Daniel Blake” is one of the movie which utilizes this method to critique the current system of the government in United Kingdom (UK). This film tells about the story of a man named Daniel Blake, who has a heart disease. He was told by his cardiologist to stop working and he is suggested to seek help using UK’s government program called ‘Employment and Support Allowance’ (ESA). The program is aimed for productive people with diseases or disability to still get paid by the government. However, Blake’s application for ESA got denied and it leads him to look for another job to sustain himself. Blake then meets a single mother (Hayley Squires) with two children who is less fortunate. Rather than putting himself first, he chooses to help this family so they’ll be able to afford their needs.
“I, Daniel Blake” is directed by legendary filmmaker, Ken Loach who has made tens of films since the 60’s. In this movie, he tries to attract the empathy of those who watch, at the same time he also conveys a critique towards the program from the UK’s government that has not been as effective as it should be. Seeing that Ken Loach himself is a politics activist, it is no wonder that he inserts political content in his movie and he does it with such elegance and eloquence, so it does not feel heavy. Dave Johns, the actor who plays the role of Daniel Blake successfully tackles his acting. Daniel Blake who is portrayed as a widower who lives in Newcastle feels like a living character and a relatable one when it’s played by Johns. “I, Daniel Blake” has managed to snatch the highest honor in Cannes Film Festival, which is Palme d’Or in 2016. It also won Best British Film in BAFTA this year. This film teaches and inspires us to put humanity first and sympathize with our surroundings, even in the worsening political situation we are facing at the moment. Prepare your tissue next to you, it might make you shed a tear or two. Watch the trailer of the movie below.
Reviewer : Bonifasius Eiji/ Editor: Novita Widia