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Moving Image Archive News -

 

The Film for which Ken Loach Was Reproached

posted August 24, 2011

In 1969, Ken Loach made a documentary film about the operations of the charity, Save the Children, commissioned by the charity. Officials of the organization did not like what Loach presented them, at all. So much so, that they barred any public showing of the film. But now, to kick off a retrospective of the veteran British filmmaker’s work, the untitled, 53-minute film is to be pulled from the British Film Institute’s National Archive and shown, on September 1 2011, at BFI Southbank. As the BBC reports, it had been viewed by only a handful of British Film Institute archivists, and never by the London Weekend Television audiences for whom it had been intended. The explanation is quite simple: Save the Children officials did not appreciate Loach showing the work of the charity as it was: He filmed the staff at a Save the Children home in Manchester making untoward comments about the locals, and similarly, in Kenya, forbidding children to speak in their native tongues, and instead feeding them a diet of cultural baggage from earlier, British, colonial times.

Loach discusses the ban on the film, and much more, in an August 28 2011 article in The Guardian.

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