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“The Old Oak”

Ken Loach, renowned for films like "Kes" and 'I, Daniel Blake," continues his tradition of spotlighting working-class struggles in England with his latest work, "The Old Oak."

The narrative follows TJ, the owner of a dilapidated bar in a working-class neighborhood, as he befriends Yara, a Syrian refugee photographer facing xenophobia from the very moment she arrives in town. TJ, scarred by a failed coal miner strikes that his father documented, rediscovers the essence of community and the significance of solidarity amidst political turmoil and rising right wing extremism.

As typical of Loach's films, "The Old Oak" appears simple on the surface but delves deep into the intricacies of irrational political behavior and the exploitation of poor folks and refugees. The movie is focused on how governments, developers and corporations manipulate racial, class, and religious divides to maintain power, urging for unity and collective action.

In a poignant moment, TJ articulates the necessity for workers to recognize their strength in numbers and stand united inspiring Yara to pull TJ in to take action, advocating for a community based on mutual support regardless of backgrounds. "The Old Oak" serves as a reminder of the power individuals hold when they come together against systemic injustices.

This movie moved me to tears. While some debate its realism, I believe in the power of this story, especially in times of great adversity. In a world filled with pain, on going war, poverty, and overwhelming inequality, embracing a utopian vision, built on collective action, offers a glimmer of hope. I encourage you to experience "The Old Oak.’

“The Old Oak” is now playing at Film Streams.

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Joshua LaBure is a documentary filmmaker, radio producer and podcaster based out of Omaha, Nebraska. His experience includes having directed and produced several short films, two narrative features and two documentary features, with his works featured at the Lone Star Film Festival, The Bureau of Creative Works and other filmmaker showcases. His most recent documentary had a sold-out premiere and received a standing ovation at the Benson Theatre. Furthermore, he founded the Denver Filmmakers Collective, which hosted local filmmaker showcases, has served on jury for major film festivals and has hosted countless film screenings.
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