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FATHERLAND

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.

See also...

WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY, THE

FRIDAY 11 AUGUST, 9PM - SOLD OUT ... The Wind that Shakes the Barley was winner of the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Both an ardent observer of reality and a deeply committed ... More »

MY NAME IS JOE

This tale of working class characters caught in a down­ward spiral of their own and society's weaknesses could be considered amongst Ken Loach's best work. As befits his reputation, this is a no ... More »

THE NAVIGATORS

Veteran British filmmaker Ken Loach, who has consistently astounded MIFF audiences with films including My Name is Joe (1999) and Bread and Roses (2000), has again delivered a work that champions ... More »

KES

Billy is a loner. His older brother bullies him, and his good timing mother passes him off to a succession of one night uncles. At the age of 15 years, he is on the brink of an aimless existence of ... More »

LOOKS AND SMILES

"Looks and Smiles is, quite simply, Ken Loach's best film since Kes — a marvellously sympathetic study of two Sheffield teenagers leaving school to face the spectre of unemployment. One of the ... More »

RIFF-RAFF

... ... Ken Loach's work has been marked over the 30-odd years of his career by a sensi­tive if uncompromising eye. He has turned his gaze on social injustice in no uncommon terms and has broken ... More »

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