Britain's Loach bids for Cannes gold with Iraq film

10th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Ken Loach, the British director who scooped the top prize at Cannes in 2006, on Monday belatedly joined the race for the Palme d'Or with a film on the war in Iraq.

His "Route Irish," named after the most dangerous stretch of road in Iraq that leads from the airport into central Baghdad, will join 18 other films in the running for the Palme, festival organisers said.

It focuses on two British mercenary soldiers in Iraq. One is killed in mysterious circumstances and his colleague rejects the official explanation and tries to find out what really happened.

The movie is Loach's third entry for the Palme d'Or in the last five years. He took the coveted top prize in 2006 with "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," about Ireland's fight for independence from British rule.

Last year he entered "Looking For Eric," starring ex-footballer Eric Cantona as the imaginary mentor of a Manchester postman down on his luck.

Variety magazine reported that that Loach originally did not plan to submit his film for the event but changed his mind at the last minute.

He is the second British director in the race, the other being Mike Leigh who is presenting "Another Year" as his bid for the top prize to be announced on May 23.

© 2010 AFP

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