I'm sure that Ken Loach never expected himself to be directing Boris Johnson's Election campaign in Sorry We Missed You. This is Made In Britain Tory style. Ken took a swipe at the necessary (as it didn't affect them) benefit cuts meted out to the poor and vulnerable in I, Daniel Blake. And here he shows real life outside the London and South East bubble for the working-class poor of the North-East. Even a dog has three legs. Sorry We Missed You looks at the dog end of the Tories' policies where two thirds of workers are paid less than £20,000 a year. Well below the national average. When we should have been spending to invest in Britain, Tory Chancellor George Osborne was cutting. And instead of a workforce building and making a better Britain, and all paying tax. We have a new workforce of self-employed delivery drivers. Sorry We Missed You spotlights the much trumpeted GIG economy that helps fill that demand. And while Germany makes cars, Britain delivers parcels on zero hour contracts. Kris Hitchen's Ricky Turner could have been part of the workforce that rebuilt Britain, but after the 2008 financial crash he lost his building job. Afterwards with wife Abbie played by Debbie Honeywood, they lost their arranged mortgage when Northern Rock went under. Now they rent a terrace house with their two kids, and try to keep their heads above water. Having worked all his life and never been on the dole Ricky now gets the opportunity to 'come on-board' as a driver in a great delivery opportunity. The terms and conditions are as bad as you can imagine and don't include a bottle for bathroom breaks, provide that yourself with the van, as you won't get any breaks. Time is his money and if he doesn't make the deliveries on time he'll get his pay docked. But he's reminded by the b****rd manager that this is a great self employment gig. We know all about these 'self-employed' GIGs. Ricky can rent a van from the company at £65 a day or buy his own. But with the thought his hard work can help them out of their financial debts, Ricky goes ahead and sells Abbie's car to get £1000 deposit for his own van. Fantastic, except Abbie is a home carer and her workday starts at 6:30 and ends at 21:30, and now she's on the bus. Abbie's job is not for the faint hearted and she treats her care in the community clients the way she would treat her mother. This the coal face of our economy. Underpaid and under appreciated. As long as the families don't actually have to do the caring everyone's happy. Keeping food on the table and a roof over their heads is hard enough for Ricky and Abbie, but their children see the stress their parents are under and it affects them equally. Rhys Stone's Seb is a would-be Banksy with a bad attitude towards society and is completely uninterested in school. Why get £57k into debt going to University and then working in a call centre he says to his parents. Only to spend the weekend drinking to make up for life's disappointments. Ken Loach covers it all. And little poppet Katie Proctor is a studious daughter, but although not rebellious, her trauma is as profound. There seems no end to the agony of this lifestyle. And while Ricky is good at his job, his customers can be arses, and my god it will make you think when that poor delivery person brings your next parcel. And being conscientious at work doesn't count for jack when he needs support for his family. And Ken even gets to give us a little A&E action, but they really are angels. Even with the wait. Most of the actors seem to be in their first acting jobs so the film had a sort of real life documentary feel about it. And I watch a lot of movies but I came out of Sorry We Missed You absolutely shellshocked. I started adding sanitary products to food bank boxes after seeing I, Daniel Blake in 2016, but our charity isn't enough for society today. Poor people with nothing are working and still looking out for each other. With rare glimpses of pure happiness among the grit and a touching script by Paul Laverty Sorry We Missed You is a parable of our times that MPs of every party should watch. And then for God's sake act. There is no way out otherwise from the hardship this family and many others in this country face. Bravo once again Ken Loach, the greatest social dramatist of our time.
Sorry We Missed You
Sorry We Missed You
Hoping that self-employment through gig economy can solve their financial woes, a hard-up UK delivery driver and his wife struggling to raise a family end up trapped in the vicious circle of this modern-day form of labour exploitation.
February 1, 2020