Skip to main content


UK, 2001 (MIFF 2002, International Panorama)

Director: Ken Loach

Veteran British filmmaker Ken Loach, who has consistently astounded MIFF audiences with films including My Name is Joe (1999) and Bread and Roses (2000), has again delivered a work that champions society's underdogs. Based on a screenplay by ex-railway worker Rob Dawber, Loach turns a jaundiced eye on Britain's deregulated rail system. A depot in South Yorkshire is privatised: the new owners see unions as troublemakers and hard-fought agreements and safety measures are torn up. With cutbacks and a drop in standards, a tragic disaster is as inevitable as management's foolhardiness. A film of humour, urgency and human resilience.

With bitter irony, Rob Dawber died of asbestos-related cancer prior to completion of the film, not before proving in court that his employers were to blame for his illness.

"The Navigators is so finely drawn and so very distinctive of its maker that one is keenly reminded of why Loach remains one of the most influential directors in world cinema." - Sight and Sound

Ken Loach (born in Warwickshire, England, 1936) worked as a stage actor before joining the BBC as an assistant director. Combining television work with filmmaking, he made his feature film debut with Poor Cow (1967). Other titles include Raining Stones (1993), My Name is Joe (MIFF 1999) and Bread and Roses (MIFF 2000).

See also...


Winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes. ... Ken Loach teams up with long-time collaborator Paul Laverty (The Wind That Shakes the Barley, MIFF 06) for The Angels' Share, a funny and affectionate crime ... More »


This tale of working class characters caught in a down­ward spiral of their own and society's weaknesses could be considered amongst Ken Loach's best work. As befits his reputation, this is a no ... More »


"The locale may have changed but the commitment to challenging social drama remains unwavering in Ken Loach's (My Name is Joe, MIFF 1999) first North American venture. Set in Los Angeles - and ... More »


“It's also a cruel world, populated by capitalist tools and fools, schemers and dreamers of every stripe, accent and ethnicity.” - The New York Times ... The latest film from socialist and social ... More »


Due to circumstances beyond MIFF's control, LOOKING FOR ERIC will no longer screen at the festival. See here for details. ... “Ken Loach in feelgood mode.” - Independent ... Former soccer star ... More »


"Insightful and explosive, so torn from today's headlines it leaves newsprint on your hands." - Empire ... Former soldiers and lifelong friends, Fergus and Frankie, have been growing rich doing ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director