ACMI

Focus on Ken Loach

We celebrate the unique career of Ken Loach and the power of television and cinema to propel social issues to the fore. In the mid-1960s as the BBC was expanding into its…

Programs

Event Details

Category

Programs

Event Starts

Jul 4, 2024

Event Ends

Jul 21, 2024

Venue

Cinemas, Level 2, ACMI

Location

Fed Square

We celebrate the unique career of Ken Loach and the power of television and cinema to propel social issues to the fore.

In the mid-1960s as the BBC was expanding into its second broadcast channel, a fresh crop of young filmmakers were recruited to make television plays for an anthology series called The Wednesday PlayTelevision plays addressing the key social issues affecting working-class and lower-middle-class audiences who, by the mid-1960s, were financially mobile enough to purchase television sets, began to emerge. And so, it was television – a fittingly domestic format – that kitchen sink realism moved to when the British New Wave of cinema had begun to ebb.

One of these young filmmakers was Ken Loach, whose direct treatment of key social issues – often unspoken at the time – cut through to audiences to such a degree that he’s credited with propelling public discourse on homelessness, public housing, mental illness and abortion rights. So influential were his television plays that they were discussed on the floor of parliament.

Today, many of the social issues Ken Loach’s films have shone a spotlight on are as relevant as ever. Public housing, housing affordability, the gig economy, reproductive rights and mental health care are all issues that define our time. So, join us in the cinema as we celebrate the career of Ken Loach and the power of television and cinema to propel these social issues forward.

– Reece Goodwin, Curator (Film & TV)

For more information, visit ACMI