Ken Loach: My week

The director of 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley' premieres his new film in Cork and London
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The Independent Online

It was my birthday yesterday, and the family gathered in Bristol. We stay overnight and drive back through Bath, which always cheers me up.


We fly to Dublin in the afternoon and do Miriam O'Callaghan's chat show. It's about the film, and Miriam takes the revisionist line in her questioning that the war of independence was unnecessary, which is a view I dispute very strongly. I don't think there's much record of Britain removing itself from a colony without some pressure. We stay in Dublin overnight in a very posh hotel.


We go to Cork, where the film is going to premiere, by train. It was made in Cork and it would be unimaginable to do it anywhere else. It shows on two screens and I keep nipping in and out to see how it's going. The third port of call is the England game against Sweden. I'm quite heartened by the way they play, but it's a stupid goal to give away at the end. There is a bit of a do afterwards, which is very nice. We leave at about half one when I am in serious danger of turning into a pumpkin.


I have a migraine for about two-thirds of the day and have to get back on to a plane for the London premiere. It isn't a big trooping up and down the red carpet. I hate all that. We've been getting reactions ever since Cannes and some hysterical right-wing responses, because the history is contested. The level of invective is puerile. Being compared with a Nazi propagandist by people I don't know isn't hurtful. There is a party afterwards and I stagger through it with a head like a goldfish bowl. It's an extraordinary response. Those who get the film seem genuinely affected by it. I'm marched out, for my own good they say, after a few minutes.


A lot of local radio, with Cillian Murphy and Padraic Delaney from the film. People are really interested in digging into the story. We look at some casting takes for the new film we're shooting in the autumn. It's a contemporary film set just outside London. We go to the Barbican, where they show the film. It's lively and afterwards we stand around and talk. The night finishes with a bowl of pasta at 12.30am.


I make a stab at the piles of letters. It's been a fantastic week. This sounds a bit showbiz, but it's been an incredible privilege to work in this way, particularly with the producer, Rebecca O'Brien, and the writer, Paul Laverty.

Interview by Sophie Morris