Ken Loach

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Kenneth "Ken" Loach (born 17 June 1936) is an English film and television director.

He is known for his naturalistic, social realist directing style and for his socialist beliefs, which are evident in his film treatment of social issues such as homelessness (Cathy Come Home) and labour rights (Riff-Raff).


Early life and career

Loach was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, the son of Vivien (née Hamlin) and John Loach.[1] He attended King Edward VI Grammar School and following two years in the Royal Air Force read law at St Peter's College, Oxford. There he performed in the now well established comedy group, the Oxford Revue. He initially worked as an actor in repertory theatre, but in the early 1960s moved into television direction and was credited in this role on early episodes of Z-Cars in 1964.

In 1966, Loach made the influential docu-drama Cathy Come Home portraying working class people affected by homelessness and unemployment, and presenting a powerful and influential critique of the workings of the Social Services. Soon afterwards with Poor Cow (1967) he started directing films for the cinema, and in 1969 made Kes, the story of a troubled boy and his kestrel, based on the novel A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines. The British Film Institute named it No 7 in its list of best British films of the twentieth century, published in 1999.[2]

During the 1970s and '80s, Loach's films were less successful, often suffering from poor distribution, lack of interest and political censorship. His film The Save the Children Fund Film (1971) was commissioned by the charity, who subsequently disliked it so much they attempted to have the negative destroyed. It has never been shown in public.

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