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RIFF-RAFF

Director: KEN LOACH

95 minutes, U.K., 1991, Colour, D-Cinema


Stevie is an unemployed Glaswegian looking to start a new life in London. He finds a job on a building site, takes a room in a squat and starts a relationship with an aspiring singer. There’s a camaraderie with his workmates, but, as work and rights are scant, gripes for better pay and working conditions fall on deaf ears.

Based on scriptwriter Bill Jesse’s own experiences, and featuring a cast of actors, including Robert Carlyle and Ricky Tomlinson, who had worked on building sites, Riff-Raff’s authenticity is only heightened by its improvisational, fly-on-the-wall-style filming. It’s also very warm and funny, though, being a Ken Loach film, its political spikiness is constantly evident.

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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