Best Movies of All Time + The Wind That Shakes The Barley

Loaching talent
©When your father is award-winning filmmaker Ken Loach (The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Ae Fond Kiss, Kes) people naturally assume you want to follow in his footsteps. But his son Jim Loach (above) was determined not to get into filmmaking. Instead, he wanted to be a journalist.
``It's funny, sometimes it's difficult to remember that mindset when you're younger but I was determined to do something very different and the opposite to what my dad did,'' says the 42-year-old.
"Then I made some documentaries and got bitten by the storytelling bug.''
Eventually, says Loach, that passion for storytelling translated to film. He carved a successful career directing television on landmark British shows such asThe BillandCoronation Street, before stumbling across the idea for his debut film -Oranges and Sunshine. A colleague lent himEmpty Cradles; a book by British social worker Margaret Humphreys who uncovered a government scheme that shipped more than 130,000 children from the UK to Australia.
"I read the book on the tube on my way home and that entire evening,'' says Loach.
"By the time I'd got back to work the next morning I'd resolved to get her phone number and I was on the phone to Margaret that night.”©It took Loach another eight years to get the film from page to screen, with the Academy Award-winning producers ofThe King's Speechlater coming onboard. Like the Oscar-winner,Oranges and Sunshineis an Australian-English co-production and was filmed in both countries with an Australian and British cast and crew. Loach says screenwriter Rona Munro trawled through thousands of individual stories of the real life children to create the characters in the film, many who were sexually abused by the Christian Brothers once they got to Australia.
The film focuses on one group of boys in particular who were forced to build, barefoot in the harsh outback, a colossal school building. The name of the school is Bindoon and it still stands north of Perth today. Loach asked for permission to film at Bindoon itself, now an agricultural college, but the Catholic authority that still owns the building refused. Loach says he and Munro still visited the site unofficially after they ``hopped'' the fence and were given a tour by a man who went there as a child.
"He showed us around and I remember thinking how deserted the place was and that we were going to be asked to leave at any minute,'' he said.
"It was incredibly powerful listening to this guy talk.
"At one point he was showing as a particular part of the building that he built and he broke down and couldn't carry on.''
Loach says that for an “incredible” true story about a “heroic” woman who's in the middle of it, he too felt "very much in the middle of it, emotionally, by the end.''
Oranges and Sunshineis out Thursday, June 9. Stay posted for my review.

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