Ken Loach’s new film will change your mind about ‘White Van Man’ – Kenny MacAskill

Ken Loach's films have shone a light on homelessness, the welfare system and now the gig economy (Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images)
Ken Loach's films have shone a light on homelessness, the welfare system and now the gig economy (Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images)
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On Sunday I attended a viewing of Ken Loach and Paul Laverty’s latest movie, “Sorry We Missed You”, in cinemas next month. It follows on from “I, Daniel Blake” which won the Palme D’Or at Cannes in 2016.

That was an excoriation of the benefits system and the new film does the same with the gig economy. The indictment of the abuse of workers in the care sector and delivery driving was searing.

White van man will never look the same again.

Exposing the appalling conditions individuals endure and the harm it causes to families and communities, I hope the film has the same impact as its predecessor. All this as the Thomas Cook affair discloses rampant corporate greed.

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In a question-and-answer session that followed, my friend Paul was asked about the merits of doing the theme as drama rather than a documentary. I did feel like pointing out that Ken Loach’s early classic “Cathy Come Home” had been the former, but its effect was as if it was an actual visual recording of the pain and misery of homelessness.

Paul’s answer was that every medium required to be used and, in that, he’s right.

Robert Tressell’s “Ragged Trousered Philanthropist” is a worker’s classic and Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” is its American equivalent and even stronger.

Woody Guthrie’s songs and even some Lowry paintings are similar, though in other mediums.

The tragedy is that, generations on from their time, exploitation and inequality is as bad as was rallied against then.

Once again, every artistic form and more must be used to decry it.

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