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1,867 Ratings


Directed by Ken Loach
United Kingdom, 1969


Bullied at school and ignored and abused at home by his indifferent mother and older brother, Billy Casper, a 15-year-old working-class Yorkshire boy, tames and trains his pet kestrel falcon whom he names Kes.

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Kes Directed by Ken Loach
Loach tends to make films that are blunt, terse and didactic (often unapologetically so), and Kes is a story which (still) transcends time and place in its exploration into the limits of personal freedom. Knock-kneed northern runt Billy Casper (David Bradley) is like a walking whipping boy for everyone he encounters.
November 11, 2016
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Despite the overt symbolism of the bird, the film never feels contrived or hackneyed. Loach’s great accomplishment is that he manages to illicit pathos without relying on cheap sentimentality. Though the film is relentlessly bleak, there are moments of comic relief (most notably the football scene), and Billy retains some glimmer of resilience until the very end.
January 13, 2012
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Working out of his own production company instead of the BBC, Loach adapts the novel by Barry Hines (like Bradley, the son of miner), observing faces and places with semistaged candor taking its cue from Forman and Menzel rather than the unchained egotism of Angry Young Man theater.
May 01, 2011
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