Director: KEN LOACH

105 minutes, U.K., 1979, Colour, Digibeta

When earnest young Tolly (Stephen Hirst) gets caught up with villainous French sailor Black Jack (Jean Franval), he is brought into a world of body-snatchers, lunatic asylums and travelling fairs.

Beautifully filmed by Chris Menges in the Yorkshire countryside, Loach’s adaptation of Leon Garfield’s 1968 novel is a children’s adventure romp set in the 18th century. Full of charm and energy, it initially seems at odds with the rest of his filmography. Yet there are recurring themes here; young people betrayed by their elders, mental illness and society’s injustices among them.

This film is screening as part of Ken Loach (Part One), May 3rd – 28th. Loach’s latest film, Jimmy’s Hall, opens at the IFI on May 30th. 

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