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Ken Loach United Kingdom, 1969

Duncan Gray's rating of the film Kes

At his best, Ken Loach has a style so unadorned that it seems as if a camera isn't even there, and this is indeed Loach at his best: the brute force of a teen's working-class education played off against the more sensitive way the boy fosters his pet falcon. It's a tender study of thwarted childhood—and it gets away with an ending that shows how much Loach, as a storyteller, could resort to brute force himself.