Ken Loach To Bid Farewell To Directing With ‘The Old Oak’

The Old Oak, the final film by renowned British filmmaker Ken Loach, will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival, which opens on May 16. He is almost certain that this will be his last performance at age 86. Maybe this is it, with failing eyesight and short-term memory. However, one can never predict how passion will turn out, and for men like Loach, filmmaking is much more than just a simple hobby.

The events of The Old Oak take place in Britain as a result of the Ukrainian immigration crisis and the railway workers’ strike in June 2022. Despite the UK government’s threat to deport them to Rwanda, they are attempting to cross the English Channel. Paul Laverty, a writer, and Rebecca O’Brien, a producer, two of Loach’s former colleagues, have always been ahead of the curve.

The multi-layered plot is set in a mining community with abandoned pits as its focal point. There are no stores open and no money, but there is a bar called Old Oak managed by a former miner.

Fascinatingly, Loach did not initially see a career in film. He just revealed to Variety: “I quite fancied the law, having no lawyer friends or relatives, but having read the biographies of the Edwardian barristers and advocates Marshall Hall and Norman Birkett, and thought ‘ah, that’s the life for me’. I got into university, [St Peter’s College, Oxford] and even started eating dinners at Gray’s Inn in order to take the bar exams and qualify, but then thought ‘this is not for me’. I got hooked on plays and just carried that on”.

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