December 30, 2007

It's A Free World,2007: Dir: Ken Loach


It's a Free World. 2007. Dir Ken Loach

(See also the Kinoeye Reference Section: Globalisation

Introduction

This entry is currently going to be limited to being a webliography rather than a full critique and analysis. It is part of an ongoing analysis of contemporary British cinema and its responses to the processes of globalisation and diaspora which are a major feature of contemporary networked society. As such it is cross linked to this entry: Contemporary British Cinema: Representing the World Locally

It's a Free World (2007)

From the persepctive of the successes of British cinema and the importance of their film makers this is a prize winning film gaining an important award at the prestigious Venice Film Festival of Best Screenplay, Venice Film Festival 2007 as well as Best Film, Seville Film Festival 2007. Yet again the British cinematic system prefers to recognise profits rather then prophets so this did not appear in a multiplex near you despite the accolades.

The film has a title which is steeped in irony for what it is seeking to do is to represent at the level of the individuals who play their part how these parts link up to the wider scheme of things. The fact that Angie and her mate Rose don't have any form of secure work to go to as a matter of providing for everyday existence means they need to become entrepreneurial. when you have nothing behind you in terms of financial or cultural capital (a combination of education and contacts to work with) then people become attracted to  the 'cowboy', 'shadow', 'underground' or 'black' economy. Angie and Rose establish a recruitment agency for migrant workers, who come to Britain because conditions have become so bad for them in their original countries of residence. combined with the entrepreneurs who are a bit further up the scale actually providing the underpaid and deperate conditions in which the migrants get recruited into form the other link in the equation. The migrants form an essential part of what Marx called the 'reserve army of labour' and what Loach is doing here is introducing audiences to this palpable aspect of globalisation.  

Success abroad and straight to DVD in the UK

As is frequently the case this British film received accolades at a prestigious film festival however because of the distribution and exhibition in the UK being so weighted against more independent films this film was distributed differently.  

"Osella" for Paul Laverty at Venice Film Festival:
"It's a Free World" wins "Best Screenplay"

(Sept. 9th 2007) Paul Laverty won the "Osella" for the Best Screenplay for "It's a Free World" (directed by Ken Loach) at this year's Venice Film Festival. Besides the drama was awarded with a EIUC Human Rights Film Award and got a special mention a the Signis Awards.

Trailer in Italian available here

Review from Amanda Palmer of It's a Free World as part of a film review programme from Al Jazeera

Production Credits

Director: Ken Loach

Producer: Rebecca O'Brien

Screenplay by: Paul Laverty

Music by: George Fenton

Cinematography by: Nigel Willoughby

Editor: Jonathan Morris

Production Design: Fergus Clegg


Cast 

Angie: Kierston Wareing

Rose:  Juliet Ellis

Karol:  Leslaw Zurek

Geoff (Angie's father) : Colin Caughlin

Jamie: Joe Siffleet

Webliography for It's a Free World

The Sweet Sixteen Website It's a Free World This website is a core resource for anybody interested in or studying the cinema of Ken Loach. Not only does it provide details of the film but in depth production note, external links and extracts of interviews form the actors are included. 

Observer report on It's a Free World

Socialist worker interview with Ken Loach about Its a Free World

European Films.Net Review of It's a Free World

Reuters Report on It's a Free World 

A different Reuters Report on It's a Free World

Guardian interview with Loach and Laverty at the Southbank

Independent Review of It's a Free World

Fujifilm PDF on Its a Free World. (Excellent images on this)

Loach makes union workers aware of wider issues attending screening for Unison branch 

Webliography for Migrant Labour conditions in Britain 

May 08/2008: "Gangmaster Stripped of License". The BBC reports on real life exploitation of Polish workers. Loach is not exaggerating!! 

New evidence of 'bonded labour'

BBC Video on migrant labour conditions:

RETURN TO BRITISH DIRECTORS HUB PAGE 


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