UK / West Germany, 1986 (MIFF 1987)
Director: Ken Loach
Ken Loach's uncompromising brand of cinematic 'realism' - documentary camera style, use of non-professional casts, improvisation, realistic unfolding of time within fictional narratives - has cast him as one of the most important, yet 'difficult', directors to emerge from the resurgence of British film in the 1960s. His most recent film, according to Variety, "is an ambiguous yet penetrating work about two opposing cultures and the way they both manipulate and control artistic expression."
Rejected by the East, a folk singer arrives in the West where he is at once lionised by the music industry. Intent on finding his father, who defected 30 years before him, he finds his way to Cambridge, with the help of a female journalist, where he discovers some biting and painful personal truths.
Trevor Griffiths' script and Loach's direction eschew the convenient trappings that would make a thriller or romantic adventure of such material, preferring to explore political and historic themes. Fittingly, the film is Gerulf Pannach's acting debut; he is a musician (he co-wrote the music used in the film) who was forced to leave East Berlin to make a life in the West.