Ken Loach’s Kes is a classic of British cinema. After tonight’s screening we have a rare opportunity to hear the story of the ‘boy’ who inspired both the film and the book from which it was adapted.
Ken Loach’s acclaimed British drama focuses on Billy Casper, a tormented working-class boy who is subjected to abuse both at school and at home. The son of a single mother, Billy’s existence is mostly bleak until he takes up an interest in falconry and begins training a kestrel that he finds on a nearby farm. While Billy forms a close bond with the falcon, his hardscrabble life and harsh environment prove to be a challenge to the boy and his bird.
Following the screening, Mark Cocker will lead a discussion with Richard Hines.
Richard Hines is brother to the late Barry Hines and it was Richard who reared and trained the kestrel as described in Barry’s bestselling novel A Kestrel for a Knave.
Now in his own widely acclaimed book, No Way But Gentlenesse (Bloomsbury, 2016) Richard Hines has told the story of how his childhood experiences growing up in working class Yorkshire inspired two of the most important pieces of social commentary in twentieth-century Britain. He gives us a rare first-hand account of their creation but also offers insight into how it feels to have one’s own life translated into someone else’s art.
Richard Hines: Website
Mark Cocker is an author, naturalist and environmental tutor who writes and broadcasts on nature and wildlife in a variety of national media.
Director: Ken Loach
Starring: David Bradley, Freddie Fletcher, Lynne Perrie, Colin Welland, Brian Glover
UK 1969, 112 mins, PG
In conjunction with Cinema City Education and Norfolk Festival of Nature.