Falkirk charity workers get special screening of film they helped to create
Falkirk charity workers who helped a screenwriter learn more about the stress of poverty on family life will share their experiences at a special screening of the film they helped create.
On Saturday (October 9) the Bo’ness Hippodrome is showing the Ken Loach film, ‘Sorry We Missed You’.
And after the film, staff from Falkirk Barnardo’s will tell the audience how they worked with screenwriter Paul Laverty to help make the story an authentic portrayal of a family who find themselves spiralling into a crisis.
The story, of a man who becomes a freelance parcel delivery driver, is a powerful exploration of the gig economy and modern work practices.
Released in 2019, the dad’s story is more relevant than ever as online shopping continues to soar. while the mother’s struggles highlight the pressures that care workers face every day.
Its writer, Paul Laverty – who regularly works with Ken Loach – spent lots of time with delivery drivers and care workers getting a feel for the pressures people are facing.
And he spoke to several charities, including Falkirk Barnardo’s, to help him build the picture.
Norman Philips, of Barnardo’s Falkirk, says the result is “a realistic portrayal of just what families are up against”.
“You could tell he was a good storyteller because he was just soaking up the detail and asking really good questions – you could almost see his brain ticking over as he was building up the picture we eventually see on screen,” said Norman.
“He just asked really interesting questions and he got people speaking.”
The film is being shown as part of Challenge Poverty Week and Norman says it powerfully illustrates the financial challenges that many people face, even in families where both parents work.
“We know through the pandemic that a lot of working families needed to get food subsidies because the children weren’t eating at school, which can often subsidise the household budget,” he said.
“The pandemic has really highlighted some of these struggles and the film brings into view some of these invisible jobs that people just take for granted in society.”
But it’s no soap opera.
“For me, it was one of the most realistic portrayals of a family getting deeper into crisis with all these external pressures – and then that really impacting on family relationships,” said Norman.
But he was impressed with how the film also captures the more positive aspects, something the charity is keen to emphasise.
“He wanted to incorporate not just the crisis but some of the more hopeful things, so that it’s not just people shouting at each other.
“And we work with families with the hope that we can make the difference, so we were keen to show that families are not always in crisis.”
The Hippodrome’s programmer, Alison Strauss, is delighted that Norman and his colleague Kay Pearson will be at the cinema – and she hopes that the audience will join in the conversation.
‘Sorry We Missed You’ is at the Bo’ness Hippodrome on Saturday, October 9 at 2.30 pm.