Poor Cow DVD review

PC3Life is never anything but a hard and fast struggle for Joy (Carol White). Living in swinging London but on the side of the tracks that is not rich nor successful. She also has a young son by her first husband Tom (John Bindon). Tom is a criminal and makes ends meet by robbing Post offices and Jewellery shops. He also likes to beat Joy and treat her as if she were the servent he could not afford. After he is incarcerated she beings to spend time with Dave (Terence Stamp). He is a lot more caring and gentle but is also connected to the criminal underworld and its ever shifting prison sentances.

PC5Made after Cathy Come Home, the BBC play that shocked a nation, Poor Cow is an amazing piece of British cinema and heartfelt political truth. Taking the kitchen sink of the period and then leaving in the dirty plates, dishes and cloth is its ambition and its justification. That is how at least I would describe it. Subversive and intellegent insight into lives still lived today, Ken Loach film is admirable. Loach is a rare thing, a man that still stands up to the middle and upper middle classes but in a truthful and revolutionary way. Sadly as Loach will atest, the audience who will watch this today are said middle class people and they will see this as histronics and alien to their life.

PC2The film is also a stand out piece for Carol White, who plays the mother drawn into sex and violence, prostitution and poverty with strength and heart. She is not hampered easily and you care for her. Even understand her motivations and dilemmas. A great skill for an actor is this connection and it is her that we find this. Visually toned down and gritty, with a great sense of space and place. The film is a testament to people and film makers that cared and had a consciousness that far outweighed their own idiosyncratic self. Lives like these are still lead and this is a document of lives wasted and set on a course that is unwavering in its savage creulty.

PC1The DVD is grand enough. Loach interview is superb and the great man speaks with wit and charm. Stamp is also very good and worth walking in. White as well… The featurette is ok but I felt it had been done before. Overall however A must buy and a must watch.

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