Filmmaker Ken Loach To Show Unseen Documentary
LONDON – The British Film Institute is to open a major retrospective of veteran British filmmaker Ken Loach’s work with a screening of a documentary kept under wraps for 40 years.
The 55-minute untitled film commissioned by children’s charity Save The Children was originally due to air on London Weekend Television in 1969 but was blocked from release by the charity.
Speaking at the launch of the retrospective, Loach said there were still “hurdles to be overcome” which was why no footage -- originally scheduled to be aired Wednesday morning -- could be shown.
According to the BFI, charity reps “felt the film subverted their aims” which was produced by Tony Garnett and shot by Chris Menges, the Oscar-winnning director of photography.
The unseen doc is billed as an exploration of the politics of race, class and charity in capitalist society.
Beginning September, in the same year that Loach celebrates his 75th birthday, the extensive program includes close to 30 films and documentaries as well as Q and As, lectures and an educational strand.
The director has also donated to the BFI National Archive his entire archive of working papers including production papers, casting lists, budgets, shooting schedules, annotated scripts, on-location photographs and e-mails.
The items will be catalogued and some displayed at the BFI.
The veteran director told The Hollywood Reporter he was delighted with the situation facing Rupert Murodch, News Corp. and News International.
But he said he felt “certain dismay” that the politicians who quizzed Murdoch and his son James in Parliament had “danced around and failed to land a punch.”
Loach, often described as a radical and socialist filmmaker, said it was great to see the bully in the playground no longer looking like a bully.
But he also added that “the pretense of humility” he felt was being offered would go on “for a while,” but that ultimately “the structure will remain in place.” Added Loach: “That’s the worse case scenario.”