For one of the most explicitly political filmmakers working today, it’s surprising that it’s taken Ken Loach so long to directly address the conflict in Iraq. He may have discussed 9/11 in his segment of the portmanteau film “11’09”01,” and there are parallels to be found in his more recent work, like “The Wind That Shakes The Barley,” but it was surely only a matter of time before Loach tackled one of the great disgraces of our modern age head-on, even while he delivered more crowd pleasing fare like “Looking For Eric.”
And so came “Route Irish,” Loach’s latest film, which premiered at Cannes last year as a last minute addition to the program. The film follows Fergus (Mark Womack), a security contractor who goes in search of answers after his best friend Frankie (British comedian John Bishop, in his big-screen debut) is killed on the titular road, often called the most dangerous in the world.
The Guardian have premiered a new trailer for the movie, and it’s looking pretty good: perhaps more of a straight-up thriller than we were expecting from Loach, but that’s almost certainly being amped by the trailer. Reteaming with regular collaborators Paul Laverty and Barry Ackroyd (who also shot Paul Greengrass‘ “Green Zone“), we’re sure Loach’s usual subtleties and political fire will be present.
The reviews from Cannes suggested it wasn’t top-notch Loach (our man on the ground found it implausible and overblown at Cannes), but even when he’s not firing on all cylinders, he’s always worth watching. There’s no word on a US release date yet, but the movie hits UK cinemas on March 18th, debuting on Video-On-Demand on the same day. Watch the trailer below, or at The Guardian.