Belfast Telegraph

Loach slams 'Philistine government'

The Government has been accused of being Philistines after David Cameron said the British film industry should concentrate on blockbusters people wanted to watch.

The award-winning film director Ken Loach said the Prime Minister's "ignorance was staggering", suggesting his bookshelves were only packed with "American airport novels".

Loach, 74, whose films include The Wind That Shakes the Barley and Bread and Roses, said the Government should help the distribution of low-budget movies if it had a "serious regard for its culture".

Loach's comments came after the Prime Minister told the Commons British film producers should learn from the success of Harry Potter and concentrate on making films people wanted to see.

The director said: "Cameron's ignorance is staggering. Doesn't he realise that the profits American blockbusters generate go back to the States?

"The sad thing is his view of films as shallow entertainment demeans the great possibility of cinema. His bookshelves must only contain American airport novels but what can we expect from a pompous yob from the Bullingdon Club?"

He added: "The Philistinism of this Government in particular is shocking but that's what we should expect from people like Cameron.

"I think he wants cinema to provide a little high entertainment while he demolishes the NHS and creates mass unemployment. If he thinks no-one will notice, he has another thing coming."

Earlier, the Prime Minister was asked in the Commons by Tory MP Richard Harrington (Watford) if the Government would find new ways to support British film producers.

Warner Brothers has just announced plans to buy Leavesden Studios which is in Mr Harrington's constituency. The US film giant will be spending £100 million expanding the site, home to the Harry Potter set.


From Belfast Telegraph