While the 87-year-old Ken Loach is still with us, the legendary director has indicated The Old Oak, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival, will be his last work. Following a pub owner in a dilated mining town, the film tells the story of tensions rising when Syrian refugees join the community. While the film is still seeking U.S. distribution, it’ll arrive in the U.K. at the end of September and now the first trailer has arrived.
Here’s the synopsis: “THE OLD OAK is a special place. Not only is it the last pub standing, but it’s also the only remaining public space where people can meet in a once thriving mining community that has now fallen on hard times after 30 years of decline. TJ Ballantyne (Dave Turner) the landlord hangs on to The Old Oak by his fingertips, and his predicament is endangered even more when the pub becomes contested territory after the arrival of Syrian refugees who are placed in the village without any notice. In an unlikely friendship TJ meets a curious young Syrian Yara (Ebla Mari) with her camera. Can they find a way for the two communities to understand each other? So unfolds a deeply moving drama about their fragilities and hopes. “
Rory O’Connor said in his review, “In The Old Oak, an English man and a Syrian woman become unlikely friends on one side of a simmering culture war. It’s the latest from Ken Loach and, if reports are true, it will be the 86-year-old director’s last. The Old Oak is, of course, a timely story about modern Britain, immigration, and xenophobia. It’s also a parting statement from Loach––one last rallying cry for solidarity––and a fitting coda to his six-decade long career.”
See the trailer below.
The Old Oak opens on September 29 in the U.K. and is awaiting a U.S. release.