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)
IntroductionThis 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.
(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.
Review from Amanda Palmer of It's a Free World as part of a film review programme from Al Jazeera
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
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.
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!!
BBC Video on migrant labour conditions: