I, Daniel Blake
“The film begins with the title character, Daniel Blake going through an assessment in the unemployment office after his doctor has deemed him unfit for work due to a heart condition. Unfortunately, Daniel ends up in a paradoxical position, the likes which Kafka could have devised, where he is not concerned unhealthy enough to apply for sickness benefit and has to therefore apply for job seeker’s allowance, coercing him into a pointless cycle of searching for jobs he cannot really take. In the middle of this absurd jungle of gray offices and red tapes, Daniel befriends Katie, a single mother of two in a similar situation. Daniel’s cardinal sin in the bureaucratic world is his refusal to play by its rules, to fake and to pull the strings where needed.” IMDB
The experience of Katie’s children in the film illustrates the ACEs that are created by a benefits system that punishes claimants with sanctions for infractions such as arriving late to appointments. How can parents be the buffer to protect their children from toxic stress when no one is protecting them?
“Despite having a drunken, abusive father and a brother who leads a local gang John McGill is a studious boy for whom a bright educational future seems to beckon. However his studiousness isolates him and when he is invited to join the gang it gives him a sense of belonging. However he becomes increasingly more violet, stabbing a boy in the neck, for which his brother is blamed and jailed, and dropping a breeze block on a rival gang leader, causing him permanent brain damage. John is temporarily thrown out of his home by his mother and suspended from school though when he is readmitted he is placed in the remedial class. John now has no interest in education but in being the top boy amongst the NEDS or non-educated delinquents. He is invincible, and even the lions at the local safari park let him pass without attacking him.” IMDB
Essentially, neglectful parents, bullying teachers, a locality where street gangs are rife and a lack of positive role models leads a young man towards violence.
“It’s 1995. Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith Jr. is a young and frustrated blue-collar factory worker. He has moved back north of 8 Mile to the run-down trailer home in Warren, belonging to his alcoholic mother, Stephanie, his younger sister, Lily and Stephanie’s abusive live-in boyfriend, Greg.” IMDB
The story of the Notorious B.I.G, his early life, rise to fame as a rapper and untimely death.
“A coming of age, character driven drama about an adopted teenage girl’s troubled family relationships. While on a family day out, Violet meets her estranged birth mother. This fleeting but shattering moment permeates the lives of the girl, her birth mother and her adoptive family. Painful memories resurface, relationships become strained and lives spiral dangerously out of control, until the two mothers try to return stability to the life of their daughter.” IMDB
“Based on the best-selling autobiography by Irish expatriate Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes follows the experiences of young Frankie and his family as they try against all odds to escape the poverty endemic in the slums of pre-war Limerick. The film opens with the family in Brooklyn, but following the death of one of Frankie’s siblings, they return home, only to find the situation there even worse. Prejudice against Frankie’s Northern Irish father makes his search for employment in the Republic difficult despite his having fought for the I.R.A., and when he does find money, he spends it on drink.” IMDB