The Old Oak

  • Margaret Petrie
Keywords: working class; policy; welfare system; poverty. homelessness


This film is the third in a trilogy of films set in the Northeast of England from Director, Ken Loach and Scriptwriter, Paul Laverty. All three films give voice to the experience of working-class communities dealing with the devastating and lasting impact of policy over the last four decades, which has preserved the interests of an elite at the expense of the interests of a much wider public. The first film I Daniel Blake highlighted the punitive cruelty of the current welfare system, no longer protecting people in adversity from poverty, homelessness or hunger. The second Sorry We Missed You highlighted the rise of the gig economy, and the erosion of terms and conditions which protect workers in employment. This third film explores the struggle to maintain hope and solidarity in working-class communities in the context of relentless attacks on living standards and quality of life. This is illuminated through the relationship of TJ, a pub landlord struggling to maintain his rundown business, and Yara, a Syrian refugee placed in the community with her family, along with other refugee families, by local authorities.

How to Cite
Petrie, M. (2023) “The Old Oak”, Concept, 14(3), pp. 1 - 2. Available at: (Accessed: 19April2024).