Christina’s review published on Letterboxd:
The mid-century British educational system truly was its own special hell, huh?
Kes is not a happy film: even people who have never seen it know that. It starts bleak and it ends bleak, with only little sparks of joy between. But don’t let that scare you off from watching it. Director and co-writer Ken Loach captures the grime and sadness of the little mining town while also showing that even here life can find ways of flourishing. Though Billy is bullied at school and neglected at home, in the little kestrel he adopts and trains he finds peace and purpose. Perhaps for the first time, he feels loved. And though the time boy and bird spend together is cruelly cut short, Billy will carry these feelings with him always. He has realized that there is more to life than the grey existence he now leads, and like Kes he can fly free beyond the horizon someday.