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The Old Oak

May 13 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Old Oak Movie

Ken Loach’s final feature takes place in and around a pub in a northern English village, where not all of the locals are welcoming to newly arrived refugees from Syria.


The future is uncertain for the Old Oak, the last remaining pub and last remaining social space in a quiet working class town in Northern England. While it was once a thriving mining community, years of neglect have left the town barren with empty homes on every street. These houses are cheap and available, making this town ideal for Syrian refugees. Racism and narrow-minded attitudes towards any newcomers are the standard in the town.

Several scenes focus on stark and uncomfortably real conversations between townsfolk seething about immigrants potentially entering their community. Tensions rise after the racist mob requests to use the back room of the Old Oak as a meeting place to air their grievances, but the owner, TJ Ballantyne (Dave Turner), refuses, knowing this will only encourage more hateful speech. Meanwhile, he strikes up a genuine friendship with one of the refugees, a young woman named Yara (Ebla Mari) who is bright, passionate, and interested in creating a life for herself in this new place.

The Old Oak is director Ken Loach’s self-reported final film and is infused with his signature social realism. A hopeful appeal to better natures, this film argues for compassion and solidarity in the face of racism and xenophobia.

“[Loach] could hardly have delivered a more resonant, timely or indeed angry swansong than this feature which takes up arms against the decay of national compassion.” –Jonathan Romney, Screen International

Director: Ken Loach
UK, France, Belgium 2023

Principal Cast: Trevor Fox, Debbie Honeywood, Dave Turner

English, Arabic | 119 minutes 

Content advisory: depictions of racism; violence; coarse language


May 13
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Algonquin Theatre
37 Main Street East
Huntsville, Ontario P1H 1C1 Canada
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Reel Alternatives Huntsville
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