Veteran filmmaker Ken Loach has provided a social commentary through his work in British cinema for decades, from his kitchen sink dramas to historical pieces. His latest feature unfolds very much in the present day as he returns from retirement to direct I, Daniel Blake, written by frequent collaborator Paul Laverty. Geordie comedian turned actor Dave Johns stars in the titular role, as a carpenter who has suffered a major heart attack. Following his doctor’s orders, he is deemed unfit to work but after a frustrating call-centre conversation with a so-called “healthcare professional”, he fails to meet the required specifications to receive sickness benefits. This leads him to the job centre where he meets single mother-of-two Katie (Hayley Squires) who is in an equally strenuous situation caused by the government’s flawed systems. The unlikely pairing unite in their time of hardship and together they attempt to overcome adversity.