I, Daniel Blake
I, DANIEL BLAKE
‘I, Daniel Blake’, the recipient of several film awards, is a superb film that shows the difficulties that vulnerable applicants face in the complex, often impersonal benefits system, in which people lose confidence and their dignity because, for example, they are given a decision passed down from a decision maker they cannot meet, and they are often expected to use a computer system that they do not understand and cannot get much help in navigating from Jobcentre staff. It is more a criticism of an inflexible system than of seemingly unhelpful and unsympathetic Jobcentre staff, who are constrained by demanding, sometimes apparently inhumane, regulations aimed at controlling benefit payments.
As a CAB adviser for over a decade, the sort of issues that arise in the film are representative of the difficulties that we see in our bureau, where frustrated, often angry, clients lack the confidence and ability to go through the hoops that the Department of Work and Pensions expect them to go through, and seek bureau help.
This emotionally powerful film is beautifully acted by Dave Johns and Hayley Squires, and is thoroughly recommended as a very worthwhile film experience.
Patrick, Volunteer, Citizens Advice Diss, Thetford and District.