British film director Ken Loach has been honoured for his lifetime achievements at the Berlin Film Festival.
Organisers highlighted what they called Loach’s “profound interest in people and their individual fates as well as his critical commitment to society”.
Loach told festival attendees: “I think we do live in darkening times, it is sometimes difficult to remember this. If I can take a moment to say something to the Europeans here, because I guess most of us are Europeans… And I don’t know about you, but I think we do need a united Europe, we are in it together, we are Europeans and we have to find common cause.”
Unlike many of his contemporaries, Loach has never succumbed to the siren call of Hollywood, and it is virtually impossible to imagine his particular brand of British social realism translating well in that context.
An Oxford graduate, he began his career in what was known at the time as “kitchen-sink” realism.
The 77-year-old director is currently shooting what is thought to be his last full-length feature after which he plans to concentrate on documentaries.
Ten Ken Loach films are being screened at the Berlin Film Festival as part of a retrospective of his work.