I, Daniel Blake is Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or winning humanist masterpiece. Set in the North East of England, Daniel needs help from the State for the first time ever following an illness. He crosses paths with a single mother Katie and the two find themselves in no-man’s land caught on the barbed wire of welfare bureaucracy now played out against the rhetoric of ‘striver and skiver’ in modern day Britain.
The film highlights the injustice of the benefits system, exposing some of the ludicrous questions that the DWP fit for work assessment poses, showing us the obvious flaws in the system.
In partnership with Entertainment One we set out to make an online video (as we do) and promote the film by drawing attention to the absurd nature of many fit for work assessments. We found that for thousands of people across the UK, the benefits system is not dissimilar to a game show the odds are not in your favour and the questions are impossible to answer correctly. But unlike a game show the grand prize is being given just enough to get by.
Our film has cheesy and grating theme music; “You’re Fit 4 Work, fit 4 work, fit 4 work, you’re fit 4 work” and follows the story of Lisa, a nervous, twitchy singly mum, caught in a circus of noise and questions. A dead eyed presenter accosts her with the exact same questions that the DWP fit for work assessment poses, outright showing the flaws in the system.
Watch the film here:
Upon launching, the video accumulated a monstrous amount of shares, currently standing at over 10,000! Within days the video had gained over half a million views, but the staggering results lie in the number of shares and comments. ‘Fit4Work’ engaged a huge number of people, many of whom had faced similar issues with the DWP assessments, that took to the comments, sharing stories and a general sentiment that the video accurately (although satirically) portrayed the game show like structure of fit for work assessments.
Make sure to join in the conversation here, and support I, Daniel Blake as it trail blazes its way to political change.