I, Daniel Blake

Ken Loach

59-year-old Daniel Blake makes a living as a carpenter, until one fateful day he has a heart attack and has to appeal to the state for the first time in his life. He tries to navigate his way through the impersonal and bureaucratic benefit scheme. In the process, he meets single mom Katie and her two children. They support each other and together they rediscover their dignity.

As we are used to from director Ken Loach, he defends the common man who is struggling to keep his chin up in contemporary England. Humour, intimacy and desperation go hand in hand in this touching story about carpenter Daniel Blake, who, according to his physician, is not allowed to work any more after his heart attack. The occupational health doctor evaluating his case has a completely different view on this, however, and now Blake is required to apply for jobs. Blake has not even been near a computer his entire life and has great difficulty figuring out this bedlam. As a consequence, he not only loses his disability benefits, but also no longer gets the dole. But Daniel Blake is not the type of man who accepts such things quietly.

I, Daniel Blake won Ken Loach his second Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival (the first one was for The Wind That Shakes the Barley). At the Locarno film festival and at San Sebastian, the film won the audience award.


Ken Loach
Country of production
United Kingdom
97 minutes
Spoken language
Production company
Sixteen Films
World Sales
Dutch distributor