Over the past two weeks we’ve been involved with two community screenings of Ken Loach’s 2016 masterpiece ‘I, Daniel Blake’.
The critically acclaimed film follows, Daniel Blake, a Newcastle construction worker, who falls by the wayside of the benefit system when he’s denied financial support – even though his doctors have told him going to work is a health risk. Throughout his journey he befriends neighbours and peers in society that are struggling through social issues themselves.
For a long time the Roebuck pub in Borough have run their Monday Movie nights in support of Southwark Foodbank. Through the power of a giant pull down screen, their large first floor dining room is transformed into a cinema with free popcorn. Entry is free, but people are encouraged to make a donation to Southwark Foodbank in lieu of a ticket.
It was the passionate team at the Roebuck behind Movie Mondays that first contact us at Pecan to initiate talks around doing a screening of I, Daniel Blake – and from there they ran with it.
Meanwhile, unbeknown to the Roebuck team, Films for Food, an initiative set up by Rainbow Collective in 2014 in response to the dramatic rise in people using foodbanks, was also starting conversations with Community Southwark and The London Cinema Museum in order to run their own screening with a Q&A afterward.
So after weeks of publicity and planning, it came to the Monday 30th of January – the Roebuck’s screening. As Christina, the organiser of Movie Mondays stood up to introduce the evening she had to pause and exclaim in disbelief ‘Well, this is the biggest turn out for a movie night ever’. And she was right, all the tables had been reserved, and people kept piling in finding place on the floor to sit. Southwark Foodbank manger Simon Boxall gave a brief introduction to the Foodbank and the film began…
And the following Monday at The London Cinema Museum had a similar format. People piled into the Elephant and Castle location all with bags of food to donate to Southwark Foodbank. There was chatter and cheer in the air, all of which dimmed to a close when Robert form Community Southwark stood to introduce the film.
Though the locations and audiences were different, the tone of the evenings where very similar when the credits started to role: a reverent humility amongst us all, and an eagerness to want to contribute and support our fellow citizen.
Both evenings ended with fruitful conversations, donations and people expressing an interest to hear more about Southwark Foodbank. Here’s hoping that passion is not numbed but mundane routine. Here’s hoping that people step up to action; to volunteer, to donate, to raise awareness. And if you want to join them – why don’t you learn how you can get involved with pecan’s work by clicking here.