IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE POST MAN
“LOOKING FOR ERIC” BY KEN LOACH
Another AFI Film Festival selection, Ken Loach’s new feature, “Looking for Eric,” is an uplifting, character driven story about facing one’s existentialist desperation to surrender to the power of friendship and love. An aging, down and out post man living in Manchester, Eric Bishop is a single father responsible for two disobedient boys who are increasingly becoming disconnected from him. With the weight of his own inadequacies and failures bearing on him, Eric also grapples with the aching guilt that he abandoned the love of his life, Lily, when she had their baby. To cope with the anxieties and sadness in his life, Eric invasions his hero, soccer star, Eric Cantona, who magically appears and disappears before him, offer council and motivation in times of trouble.
Loach’s narrative follows the well intentioned Eric as he withdrawals from, faces, then transcends the family dysfunction and fears that keep him from being happy. A meditative, dark comedy situation in a working-class neighborhood, the film is shot with the realism and humble beauty Loach is known for. Deeply resonating with anyone who has had to swallow their pride to come to terms with asking for forgiveness, it is also a film which affirms the value of friends and camaraderie to overcome obstacles. With a memorable conclusion that is as inspiring as it is sincere, Ken Loach reminds us of the strength of solidarity and teamwork and that “the noblest vengeance is to forgive.”