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Saturday 14 December 2019

Loach: Hard to give up filmmaking

Ken Loach has revealed Jimmy's Hall may not be his last film after all.

The 77-year-old filmmaker, who has made movies including Land And Freedom and Kes, backtracked on recent comments that he was to retire from making feature films.

"We'll just watch the World Cup and see what the autumn brings," he said. "Maybe a little film or maybe not, we'll see how it goes. It's a hard job to give up."

Ken, who won the Palme d'Or in 2007 for The Wind That Shakes The Barley, was at the Cannes Film Festival with his latest Palme d'Or contender, starring Barry Ward as Jimmy Gralton, an Irish socialist who incurred the wrath of the authorities by opening a village hall for his community.

Ken, a socialist who tackled the subject of homelessness in 1966 TV drama Cathy Come Home and and labour rights in Riff-Raff and The Navigators, said he wants to portray the working class accurately.

"What I've noticed, and I've noticed it for 50 years, that for some reason people who write about films find this is absolutely abhorrent. They cannot stand working class characters who speak with some knowledge," he explained.

He added: "It's something that's been a running theme through the films we've tried to do, to give due prominence to working class guys and women who can speak to their conviction and experience."

But Ken admitted his films could have little impact on changing views.

"If films were to have a big influence it would probably be very negative, because they would endorse great wealth. They would endorse America as the home of peace and democracy and the defender of freedom and it would have a very negative effect. So I hope that films don't have a huge effect because of that," he said.

PA Media

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