MIFF: It’s a Free World

It's a Free World

Ken Loach’s latest is a simple social realist film in a style not much different to what Vittorio De Sica was pulling out sixty years ago. The conflict is moral and economic, the characters humble but not necessarily noble. It is Loach’s gift for storytelling and rhythm that allow this well-run formula to evade cliché or po-faced politics. Our protagonist, Angie (Kierston Wareing), slides down the slippery pole of free market economics into an ethical landscape devoid of reference points. Along the way, we follow her logic, question her audacity and try to reproach her actions. The film is chilling in the apparent inevitability of its course, yet the twists and turns, while remaining utterly plausible, never become predictable. Only at the end, the very end, does Loach give us pause for breath, a moment’s hesitation in Angie’s sharp demeanour that lets us realise, with the mild mention of a name, how far down we have gone.