From Hidden Agenda to the Free World and Beyond: The Political Films of Ken Loach

“Everything’s political - it’s such a stupid label”. So claims producer and regular Ken Loach collaborator Rebecca O’Brien (Sweet Sixteen) in a passionate panel discussion about the director’s ‘political’ films. Screenwriter Paul Laverty (Carla’s Song) recalls his controversial question to the director of Clear and Present Danger (1994) which almost derailed a Q&A, while director Penny Woolcock (Tina Goes Shopping) explains her fascination with the ‘undeserving poor’ when growing up in Argentina.

Writer Peter Kosminsky (Shoot to Kill) expresses his irritation that politics is seen as a subject for television rather than film, while O’Brien recalls her delight when critic Alexander Walker launched into a tirade against Loach’s Hidden Agenda (1990) - guaranteeing the film a far wider audience.


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