Down here on the Cote d'Azur, we've just finished the Cannes festival. (A relief for a lot of people as we can now go into Cannes without facing a huge traffic jam and millions of people.)
So the winner this year of the Palme d'Or was Ken Loach, a 79 year-old British film director. Here's what the BBC says about his film:
“It was the 79-year-old's second award for best picture at the festival after 2006's The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
Loach attacked the "dangerous project of austerity" as he accepted the award for his film about a middle-aged widower and the UK welfare system.
It was the 13th time Loach, a social campaigner for most of his career and the director of more than 50 movies, has competed at the event.
I, Daniel Blake, which stars stand-up comedian Dave Johns in the title role, was written by long-time Loach collaborator Paul Laverty.
It documents what happens when an older man living in Newcastle has a heart attack and can no longer do his job.
He is declared fit for work, meaning his benefits are stopped, and he begins to go hungry.”
Here's the film's teaser trailer:
What do you think about this?
When I watch this, it reminds me of one of the things I don't like about the UK: a rule is a rule and there are no exceptions. Here in France, people are more likely to make decisions on a case by case basis, even when there are rules.
How about in your country? Do you have a welfare system? What kind of benefits can people get and how difficult is it to get them? How has austerity affected your country?
widower a man whose wife has died (a woman whose husband has died is a widow)
welfare system the government system of giving money to people who need it, paying for healthcare etc
a stand-up comedian someone who goes on stage and tells jokes to make people laugh (for all you French-speakers, this is a false friend – in French a comedien is an actor or entertainer.)
declared fit for work somebody has evaluated him and decided he is healthy enough to work
benefits money from the government given to people in need, for example unemployment benefit, housing benefit, disability benefit
My blog has changed! If you're looking for my English-practice exercises, they're all still here, just look in the archives.
Catherine: blogging about learning, language, culture, France and more...