Blake’s dole mysteries
ANYONE who has dealt with Centrelink, baffling government bureaucracy and red tape or been kept on hold for an hour will relate to I, Daniel Blake.
Middle-aged carpenter and widower Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) in northeast England is put on bed rest after he suffers a heart attack.
Turning to the government for financial support while he recovers, those who assess his application deem him fit for work and therefore he must go on dole payments and look for employment.
The process means hours in waiting rooms, icy government admin officers and baffling digital technology while the bills pile up.
Daniel befriends single mother of two Katie (Hayley Squires), who has been uprooted from her run-down public housing home in London and relocated without friends or family for support and is struggling to feed her kids.
The two offer each other the support they cannot find from the government.
You feel every frustration of Daniel’s experience, laugh in utter disbelief at every injustice and clench your fists in anger.
But I, Daniel Blake is as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking, because at its core it is about compassion and helping others unconditionally.
I, Daniel Blake screens as part of the British Film Festival, from October 27 to November 16.