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The Old Oak film image

The Old Oak

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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 (Dave Turner) 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 (I Am Daniel Blake; Sorry We Missed You), 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. 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. It’s a plain and honest account of a time of discord and division.


Media Partner


Dave Turner, Ebla Mari, Claire Rodgerson

Country of Origin





Special Presentations



Film Contact
Content Warning

Depictions of Racism, Coarse Language

113 min

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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


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)

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