Old Oak

Palme d’Or
Cannes Film Festival
Bridging the Borders Award - Special Mention
Palm Springs International Film Festival
Outstanding British Film of the Year
[A] resonant, timely [and] indeed angry swan song ... which takes up arms against the decay of national compassion.


The Old Oak

The Old Oak is the last pub standing in a once thriving mining village in northern England, a gathering space for a community that has fallen on hard times. There is growing anger, resentment, and a lack of hope among the residents, but the pub and its proprietor TJ are a fond presence to their customers. When a group of Syrian refugees move into the floundering village, a decisive rift fueled by prejudices develops between the community and its newest inhabitants. The formation of an unexpected friendship between TJ and a young Syrian woman named Yara opens up new possibilities for the divided village in this deeply moving drama about loss, fear, and the difficulty of finding hope. The release of The Old Oak reunites legendary British director Ken Loach with Zeitgeist Films and Kino Lorber following our 2020 release of his film Sorry We Missed You. Loach, who is 87 years old, has announced that The Old Oak will be his final film.

“A film as fired up and human as any you’ll see this year.” – Phil de Semlyen, Time Out

“Ken Loach’s fierce final call for compassion and solidarity… He is the fierce plain-speaker of political indignation with a style that is unironised and unadorned... It is a filmmaking language utterly without the cynical twang that is de rigueur for everyone else…I hope that this isn’t Loach’s final film, but if it is, he has concluded with a ringing statement of faith in compassion for the oppressed.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)

“[Loach] could hardly have delivered a more resonant, timely or indeed angry swansong than this feature which takes up arms against the decay of national compassion.” – Jonathan Romney, Screen International

“What Loach adds to this scenario, as he’s done in most of his films, is a natural intimacy that goes beyond the issues to bring something human and emotional to the table… Working with screenwriter Paul Laverty, who’s been the auteur’s trusted scribe ever since CARLA’S SONG in 1996, Loach builds up to such emotional high points through a slow-burn narrative that sets up all the conflicts and then has them play out as naturally as possible…as if he were capturing real life as it happened, with cinematographer Robbie Ryan (AMERICAN HONEY) adding a dose of warmth and color to the drab town setting.” – Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

Not Rated
English, Arabic
Ken Loach
Paul Laverty
Dave Turner, Ebla Mari, Claire Rodgerson, Trevor Fox, Chris McGlade, Col Tait, Jordan Louis, Chrissie Robinson, Chris Gotts, Jen Patterson, Arthur Oxley, Joe Armstrong, Andy Dawson, Maxie Peters
Nominee, Palme d’Or, Cannes Film Festival
Winner, Bridging the Borders Award - Special Mention, Palm Springs International Film Festival
Nominee, Outstanding British Film of the Year, BAFTA

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