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Directed by Ken Loach • 1979 • United Kingdom
Starring Stephen Hirst, Louise Cooper, Jean Franval
Ken Loach returned to the child’s-eye realism of his beloved KES for this Dickensian adventure tale. Set in a vivid recreation of 1750s England, BLACK JACK follows the exploits of honest young Tolly as he’s forced on the run with the titular ruffian through a colorful world of body snatchers, madhouses, and traveling fairs, along the way coming to the aid of a runaway girl who has been cast off by her family. A major influence on Wes Anderson’s MOONRISE KINGDOM, this period picaresque balances fantastical whimsy with Loach’s gentle naturalism for a uniquely captivating and complex children’s fable.