The Old Oak movie is a reminder of both the good and bad sides of humanity, of pride, resilience, solidarity and hope. Mostly though it’s a gentle reminder that everyone benefits when we work together.
The majority of the action takes place inside a classic English pub, The Old Oak. The pub is the last standing drinking establishment in a dying mining town.
Landlord TJ Ballantyne, (Dave Turner) is trying to keep the pub alive but it’s getting tricker. Gone are the days when the pub was full of laughter and chatter as locals wound down at the end of the day. Now, the clientele is reduced to a handful regulars, their bitterness thickened over thirty years.
The small community receives a much-needed injection of new blood. Skilled workers and young families move into long-empty homes. The townsfolk should be happy. They aren’t. The new arrivals are Syrian refugees who arrive without notice. Struggling for their own livelihoods, the locals object to their arrival particularly when they’re handed supplies.
Amongst the new residents is a well-spoken young Syrian woman, Yara, (Ebla Mari) who enjoys taking photographs. The actions of some of the locals soon sees TJ take Mari under his wing.
As the lights came up I pondered:
- The gentle movie reminds us that nothing changes if we stand by and say nothing, that we all have to play a part in the change we want to see;
- It also champions the importance of community, solidarity but most of all pride and hope;
- Both Turner and Mari are brilliant at making their friendship utterly believable.
For more information and session times go to Luna Cinemas