‘Route Irish’ Entered At Cannes
Ken Loach, Director of 'Route Irish'

Ken Loach's new film ‘Route Irish’ has been submitted and accepted to the Cannes Film Festival at the eleventh hour, bringing the total films in competition to 19. According to the festival organiser Thierry Fremaux, the film wasn’t quite finished in time for the ordinary cut-off date. However, producer Rebecca O'Brien submitted it as soon as it was ready (yesterday) without any awareness from Loach, but he is reportedly delighted to be included.

Loach has been much lauded in the past at the glitzy event, being nominated numerous times and winning the coveted Palme d’Or in 2006 for his film ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’.

Never one to shy away from difficult subject matter, this is the first time Loach has tackled the war in Iraq. ‘Route Irish’ is named after the infamous road linking Baghdad’s airport with the International Zone which became prominent after the 2003 invasion, following its capture by the Coalition Forces.

Loach is notorious for his political left of centre opinions and has been typically vocal in his opposition to the war. One would then suspect this to be an overtly political film but in actuality it promises to paint a humanist portrait dealing intimately with grief and issues of post traumatic stress disorder. In this case affecting private security contractors (ex soldiers) working in Iraq during the war. This film focuses on the story of just one of these men, a Liverpudlian veteran, Fergus (Mark Womack).

Working for the first time in 20 years with Chris Menges, who was his director of photography on classics such as ‘Kes’ it will be interesting to see how the film looks and the tone it has chosen to adopt. The screening of 'Route Irish' will take place on Thursday, May 20 in the Grand Théâtre Lumière.

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