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The Old Oak film image

The Old Oak

Ignite High School Screening

The local pub is virtually the last community gathering place in an impoverished town in the north of England, one of those places that never recovered from the demise of the mining industry. Here, TJ is hanging on by a thread. When an influx of Syrian refugees stokes xenophobic backlash, he’s ready to step up and help the newcomers as best he can — to the disgust of some of his regulars. The word “Brexit” is never spoken in this very moving melodrama from Ken Loach and his regular screenwriter Paul Laverty, yet the film is set in 2016 and it’s an attempt to wrestle with the implications of that referendum, a low point in the history of British socialism. It’s a plain and honest account of a time of discord and division with xenophobic views that are too often echoed even today. The overt racism the refugees encounter is shocking, but its been seeded by decades of poverty and neglect, and Loach finds embers of hope in acts of courage, kindness and solidarity.


Presented by


Dave Turner, Ebla Mari, Claire Rodgerson

Country of Origin






Content Warning

Depictions of Racism

113 min

Education Guide

Curriculum Interests

The Education Guide will be available soon.

•  Social 9

•  Social Studies 10

•  Explorations in Social Studies 11

•  Comparative Cultures 12

•  Directing + Script Development 12

•  Social Justice 12

•  Film + Television 11+12


Ken Loach headshot

Ken Loach

Ken Loach was born in 1936 in Nuneaton. He attended King Edward VI Grammar School and went on to study law at St. Peter’s Hall, Oxford. After a brief spell in the theatre, Loach was recruited by the BBC in 1963 as a television director. This launched a long career directing films for television and the cinema, from Cathy Come Home and Kes in the 1960s to The Wind that Shakes the Barley (Palme d’Or, Cannes Film Festival 2006), and I, Daniel Blake (Palme d’Or, Cannes Film Festival 2016).

Filmography: Kes (1969); Raining Stone (1993); The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006); I, Daniel Blake (2016); Sorry We Missed You (2019)





Wednesday, October 4 12:30 pm International Village, Theatre 10

How to Book

Free for schools, capacity for all films is limited. To book, submit your request with the online form below. Our Ignite team will respond to confirm availability and complete your booking.

Questions? Contact our Ignite team at [email protected]

Booking Request Form

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Executive Producer

Pacal Caucheteux, Grégoire Sorlat, Vincent Maraval


Rebecca O’Brien


Paul Laverty


Robbie Ryan


Johnathan Morris

Production Design

Fergus Clegg

Original Music

George Fenton