Ken Loach’s fierce final call for compassion and solidarity
A northern pub landlord confronts locals’ hostility towards Syrian refugees in Loach’s latest – and possibly last – piece of political and emotional cinema
THE OLD OAK is a special place. Not only is it the last pub standing, but it’s also the only remaining public space where people can meet in a once thriving mining community that has now fallen on hard times after 30 years of decline. TJ Ballantyne, the landlord, hangs on to The Old Oak by his fingertips, and his predicament is endangered even more when the pub becomes contested territory after the arrival of Syrian refugees who are placed in the village without any notice. In an unlikely friendship TJ meets a curious young Syrian Yara with her camera. Can they find a way for the two communities to understand each other? So unfolds a deeply moving drama about their fragilities and hopes.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film that emotionally hooked me as quickly as The Old Oak did. Right from the off you are dragged into the visceral and powerful emotion of this piece, and it rarely relents. But it is not all doom and gloom – it also shows the best of humanity and how people can rally around each other, making it a truly inspiring film.” – Ethan Bresnett – IMDb Critic
Englische Originalfassung mit Englischem Untertitel
UK 2023; 113 min.; Director: Ken Loach
Cast: Dave Turner, Ebla Mari, Claire Rodgerson a. o.