English film and television director. Loach became known for his trenchantly realistic treatment of social issues, with television dramas such as Up the Junction (1965) and Cathy Come Home (1966), concerning the plight of homeless people. His first film was Poor Cow (1967), followed by the critically acclaimed Kes (1971), which deals with working-class life in the north of England. He won the 2006 Palme d'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival for The Wind That Shakes the Barley, a controversial film about the Irish War of Independence.
During the 1970s he was mainly active in television but returned to cinema in the early 1990s, with such films as Hidden Agenda (1990), about the Northern Ireland troubles; the comedy Riff-Raff (1991); the drama Raining Stones (1993), and Tierra y Libertad/Land and Freedom (1995), a period piece set during the Spanish Civil War. Later films explore the isolation of the working-class and immigrants, for example Carla's Song (1996), My Name is Joe (1998), Bread and Roses (2000), Sweet Sixteen (2002), and Looking for Eric (2008).