Tickets £5.00 in advance from Evenlode DIY or on the door.
The setting is 2016 – year zero for Brexit. There’s bleak desperation and a stewing sense of injustice in the village, a community mortally wounded by the coalmine closures back in the 80s, which has been suffering a slow and painful decline ever since.
The arrival of several families of Syrian refugees is a flashpoint for xenophobic tensions. Much of this is vented in the dilapidated pub, the Old Oak, where a handful of regulars drink bitter and spew bitterness. Meanwhile, the landlord (Dave Turner) is disappointed, decent and, like everyone else, just about clinging on. He strikes up a friendship with Yara (Ebla Mari), a young female refugee. Together with aid worker Laura (Claire Rodgerson), they devise a plan to bring the two traumatised communities together.
As with all Loach’s film-making it is a condemnation of austerity; there is a clear, black-and-white moral framework. But there is also a plea for open-hearted compassion, even for bilious racists.
The final message of hope is resolutely upbeat and desperately needed.