Ken Loach

Not just a filmmaker of dogged integrity, but a resonant voice within British political discourse, Ken Loach has earned a unique place within the country's culture.

From his public opinion-shifting 1966 TV play Cathy Come Home, which forced housing issues onto the national agenda, all the way through to I, Daniel Blake's heartbreaking indictment of punitive benefits sanctions, Loach's films and documentaries can be seen as a means to a political end, bringing alive working class issues and agitating against social injustice. Aesthetically, they are defined by a directness and naturalism fitting of their real life objectives.

However, they should not be reduced to calculated propaganda. At the heart of Loach's films are extraordinary characters, animated by Loach's collaborative, improvisation-based approach to directing actors. The needs, struggles and triumphs of real people are at the heart of all Loach's filmmaking, just as they are at the heart of his politics. 

Here's a look back at Loach's work by some of his film and TV contmemporaries.

Inspired? Here's our interactive feature on How to Make a Ken Loach Film.