I, Daniel Blake I, Daniel Blake
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I, Daniel Blake

I, Daniel Blakeis a 2016 drama film directed by Ken Loach and written by Loach's frequent collaborator Paul Laverty . It stars Dave Johns as Daniel Blake, who is denied employment and support allowance despite his doctor finding him unfit to work. Hayley Squires co-stars as Katie, a struggling single mother whom Daniel befriends.

2016 Cannes Film Festival and the Prix du public at the 2016 Locarno International Film Festival .

Widower Daniel Blake, a 59-year-old joiner living in Newcastle , has had a heart attack at work. Though his cardiologist has advised him not to return to work, Daniel is deemed fit to do so after a work capability assessment and denied employment and support allowance . He is frustrated to learn that his doctor was not contacted about the decision, and applies for an appeal, a process he finds difficult because he is not computer literate .

Daniel befriends a single mother , Katie, after she is sanctioned for arriving late for a jobcentre appointment. Katie and her children have moved to Newcastle from a London homeless persons' hostel , with no affordable accommodation available in the capital. Daniel helps the family by repairing objects, teaching them how to heat rooms without electricity, and crafting wooden toys for the children.

During a visit to a food bank , Katie is overcome by hunger and breaks down. After she is caught shoplifting, a security guard offers her work as an escort . Daniel surprises her at the brothel, where he begs her to give up the job, but she tearfully insists she has no choice to feed her children.

As a condition for receiving jobseeker's allowance , Daniel searches for work on an industrial estate. He is offered a job in a scrapyard, but has to turn it down for health reasons. When Daniel's work coach tells him he must work harder to find a job, Daniel spraypaints "I, Daniel Blake, demand my appeal date before I starve" on the building. He earns the support of passersby, including other benefits claimants, but is arrested and given a police warning. Daniel sells most of his belongings and becomes withdrawn.

On the day of Daniel's appeal, Katie accompanies him to court. A welfare adviser tells Daniel that his case looks sound. On glimpsing the judge and doctor who will decide his case, Daniel becomes anxious and visits the lavatory, where he suffers a fatal heart attack. At his " pauper's funeral ", Katie reads the eulogy , including a speech Daniel had intended to read at his appeal. Daniel's speech describes his feelings about how the welfare system failed him, treating him like a number and not a man who was proud to say he had paid his dues to society.

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