Belfast Telegraph

Palme D'Or for Loach's gritty anti-Tory drama

By Thomas Adamson

Veteran British director Ken Loach has won his second Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for I, Daniel Blake - a stark and polemical portrayal of a disabled man's struggle with the benefits system in northern England.

The 79-year-old was presented with the festival's top prize by Mel Gibson at a ceremony on the French Riviera. Loach punched his fists in victory and said that he hoped his social realist film would give out a message of hope.

I, Daniel Blake is a warm and realistic drama about a middle-aged widower who, after a heart attack, can neither work nor get Government money. "There is a conscious cruelty in the way that we are organising our lives now, where the most vulnerable people are told that their poverty is their own fault," Loach told reporters earlier in the festival.

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