A middle aged man finds himself at the mercy of the social welfare system in Northern England after an accident at work.
Daniel Blake is a snapshot into the struggles of life on the dole, whether it is because of illness, single parenthood or because it is just impossible to find work as there is none available. It paints a depressing and stark picture of how easy it is from being able to pay your bills rent and feed yourself to becoming dependent on food banks and selling your furniture to pay the gas bill.
Daniel Blake also tells a story of people resilience and the fight for survival against a system that is not designed to assist people when they are at their most desperate.
Daniel is a smart man who has worked hard all his life as a carpenter and has never had to encounter the social welfare system before. It is alien territory for him, he cannot use a computer, does not know what the internet it. Daniel is a practical man who looks for solutions and does not give up easily.
The sheer frustration I felt on his behalf while trying to navigate is way through a system that creates hurdles at every turn. On his journey he encounters a woman with two children trying to survive on benefits; because she was a few minutes late for an appointment she gets a significant cut to her money.
Their relationships give you faith in humanity in a world where people are trying to keep warm and feed but this is dictated by social welfare’s rules and regulations that are at times in the real world impossible to achieve.
The workers in the welfare are cold almost robotic and they just repeat the same sentences over and over; everything is referred to the “Decision Maker” who is never seen or contactable.
I Daniel Blake breaks the stereotype of people choosing the dole as a lifestyle choice, as it would be much easier to work a job if there were any than to deal with that system on a daily basis.
I would recommend going and seeing I am Daniel Blake but it is a heavy and dark movie.
Lighthouse Cinema showing times every evening at 6pm and 8.30pm