Making groundbreaking dramas for the BBC's "Wednesday Play" series in the 1960s, Ken Loach was one of the first to show life as it was really lived by many people. With the film "KES", the director established an international reputation. After ...
falling on hard times in the 1980s, he then made a feature-film revival that was little short of remarkable, with masterpieces such as "Land and Freedom", "Carla's Song", "My Name is Joe" and most recently "Sweet Sixteen". Anthony Hayward's book reveals the influence on Loach of a father who was fanatical about education, the socialist politics that drive his work, and the long-running collaborations with writers and producers such as Jim Allen, Barry Hines, Tony Garnett and Rebecca O'Brien. It also shows how Loach's films have made folk heroes of both actors and their characters: Ricky Tomlinson taking his experiences of the building trade and its scams to "Riff-Raff"; David Bradley as the schoolboy consigned to a life down the pit in "KES", and Peter Mullan drawing on memories of his father's alcoholism in "My Name Is Joe".