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Film

I, Daniel Blake

Date: Thur 16 March    Time: 8pm    Admission: €6/€5 conc.

Director:  Ken Loach      FILM INFO:  100 mins; UK/France/Belgium, 15 PG

Daniel Blake is a 59-year-old joiner living in Newcastle, a city in North East England. Daniel has had a heart attack at work. His recovery is incomplete and his cardiologist is concerned that Daniel’s heart might begin to beat abnormally, putting him at risk of developing a life-threatening arrhythmia. She tells him that he is not ready to go back to work.

Daniel applies for the sickness benefit called ‘Employment and Support Allowance‘. He gets it at first, but when an eligibility test is carried out, his points tally is slightly below the threshold needed to keep receiving payments. As a result, he is deemed to be able to work. Daniel had assumed that the unspecified healthcare professional who carried out his Work Capability Assessment — portrayed as a simplistic box-ticking exercise — had contacted his doctor for information on his condition, but she had not. Consequently, the test’s criterion for people who are at risk – which would have qualified Daniel for sickness benefits by itself – is not applied by a government “decision-maker”. The supervisor at the job centre says Daniel’s only option is to claim Jobseekers Allowance. As a condition of receiving Jobseekers Allowance, he must actively look for work. Daniel launches a legal appeal against being found fit for work but he finds it difficult because he is not computer literate.

Daniel gets to know single mother Katie and her two children, Dylan and Daisy, who have left a homeless persons’ hostel in London and, with no other affordable accommodation being available in the capital, have moved to Daniel’s home town, a place unfamiliar to Katie and her children. On her first visit to the Job Centre Katie was “sanctioned” — her benefits were stopped because she briefly got lost on the way there — and she can no longer feed all her family nor heat their flat

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Viva

Date: Thur 20 April    Time: 8pm    Admission: €6/€5 conc.
Director: Paddy Breathnach        FILM INFO:    100 mins,  Ireland/ Cuba, 15 PG

VIVA stars Héctor Medina as Jesus, a young hairdresser working at a Havana nightclub that showcases drag performers, who dreams of being a performer himself. Encouraged by his mentor, Mama (Luis Alberto García), Jesus finally gets his chance to take the stage. But when his estranged father Angel (Jorge Perugorría) abruptly reenters his life, his world is quickly turned upside down. As father and son clash over their opposing expectations of each other, VIVA becomes a love story as the men struggle to understand one another and reconcile as a family.

Official Website: http://www.viva-movie.com/

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Or Phone: 00353 402 38529 or email

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Bealtaine Film: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Date: Thur 18 May   Time: 8pm    Admission: €6/€5 conc.

Director:  John Madden      Film info:  124 mins, UK/US/UAE, PG13

A group of British retirees decide to “outsource” their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self. Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when you let go of the past