On Wednesday, 1 November 2023, we organised a film screening and a post-screening discussion featuring "The Old Oak" by Ken Loach. The screening drew an impressive crowd, with over 100 attendees who actively engaged with the film and participated in a lively discussion afterward.
This thought-provoking film delves into the life of a Northeastern English village grappling with the closure of its coal mine, leaving its residents feeling abandoned by the system. Many of the younger generation have departed, and a once-thriving and proud community now struggles to uphold its cherished traditions. Unfortunately, this struggle has given rise to growing anger, resentment, and a pervasive sense of hopelessness.
In this environment where houses are both affordable and readily available, the village has become an attractive destination for Syrian refugees who have been welcomed by the United Kingdom in recent years. The film explores the critical questions of how the local community will receive these newcomers and what lies ahead for the village's last remaining pub, aptly named "The Old Oak."