- 1 hr 50 min
Kes is a critically acclaimed British movie from 1969, directed by Ken Loach and based on the novel 'A Kestrel for a Knave' by Barry Hines. The movie is set in a working-class community in the north of England, and follows the story of a young boy named Billy Casper, played by David Bradley. Billy is a shy and introverted child who struggles to find purpose and meaning in his life. He lives in a small town with his abusive brother and mother, and is often bullied at school. One day, while wandering through the countryside, Billy discovers a young kestrel chick that has fallen out of its nest. He takes it home and decides to raise it himself, naming it Kes.
As Billy starts to train Kes, he discovers a newfound passion and purpose in his life. He finds that he has a natural talent with animals and becomes increasingly committed to raising Kes into a strong and skilled bird. The relationship between Billy and Kes becomes the central focus of the movie, as we see the bond between them grow stronger.
In many ways, Kes can be seen as a coming-of-age story. As Billy learns more about himself and his abilities, he begins to stand up for himself and assert his own identity. He becomes more confident and assertive, challenging the authority figures in his life and refusing to be defeated by the challenges he faces.
The movie also touches on many social issues that were prevalent in 1960s Britain, such as poverty, unemployment, and the lack of opportunities for working-class people. It reveals the stark contrast between the beauty and freedom of the countryside and the dreariness and hopelessness of life in the industrial town.
David Bradley gives an outstanding performance as the young Billy, bringing a sense of vulnerability and sensitivity to the character. Brian Glover plays the role of Billy's abusive PE teacher, who represents the authority figures that Billy is rebelling against, and Freddie Fletcher plays Billy's troubled brother.
One of the most striking aspects of Kes is its realism. The movie was filmed on location in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, and the scenes of Billy wandering through the fields and training Kes have a raw authenticity that is both beautiful and poignant. The movie's depiction of working-class life is also unflinchingly honest, showing the harsh realities of poverty and the lack of opportunities that were typical for many people in the 1960s.
Overall, Kes is a beautifully crafted movie that tells a powerful and uplifting story. Its themes of self-discovery, resilience, and hope resonate just as strongly today as they did in 1969. The movie is a testament to the power of the human spirit and the transformative potential of a deep and meaningful relationship between a human and an animal.
Kes is a 1969 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.9.