Sorry We Missed You
Kris Hitchen, Debbie Honeywood, Rhys Stone
Ken Loach returns to the milieu of 2016’s I, Daniel Blake with the fierce, vital Sorry We Missed You, supported by his longtime collaborators, screenwriter Paul Laverty and producer Rebecca O’Brien. Fresh from its Competition premiere at Cannes (where it received rave reviews), it’s a passionate indictment of Tory austerity, the absurdities and cruelties of the gig economy, and the impossibility of achieving anything but basic economic survival on an unpredictable minimum wage.
Ricky (Kris Hitchen) lost both his building work and his mortgage after the 2008 financial crash. Now renting with his wife Abbie (Debbie Honeywood), a contract nurse and carer and their two kids, he is unable to pass up a job van driving for a big delivery company. But it turns out the zero-hours job offers no support and no benefits; he must buy or lease his own van and meet strict and unreasonable targets. Alarmed by their rising debts, and with his wife facing equally exploitative pressures in her own job, their family life becomes more and more toxic.
Rigorously researched via off-the-record interviews, Sorry We Missed You depicts the ruinous human cost of zero-hours contracts with gut-wrenching honesty and integrity. A heartbreaking and incendiary film, it’s both an utterly absorbing human drama about a particular family and a wider critique of the alienation and despair engendered by the lack of dignity and human agency in these jobs, often disparaged but also now simply accepted as a norm.