Ladybird, Ladybird (film)
For the 1963 Frank Perry film, see Ladybug Ladybug (film)
|Directed by||Ken Loach|
|Produced by||Sally Hibbin|
|Written by||Rona Munro|
|Music by||George Fenton|
|Edited by||Jonathan Morris|
|Distributed by||Samuel Goldwyn Company|
Ladybird, Ladybird is a 1994 British drama film directed by Ken Loach.
It is a drama-documentary about a British woman's dispute with Social Services over the care and custody of her four children. The title comes from the traditional nursery rhyme "Ladybird Ladybird". Crissy Rock won the Silver Bear for Best Actress award at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival.
In a karaoke bar Maggie Conlan, a woman with a troubled past, meets South American Jorge and has a drink with him. During their conversation we learn about both their past lives; in flashback we learn that she witnessed her father beating her mother, and later was beaten several times by her ex-boyfriend Simon. She has four children by four different fathers and all of her children are in care. Jorge is a Paraguayan who is afraid to return to his own country for fear of persecution there.
Maggie goes on to make a relationship with Jorge, being impressed with his poetry and his history. Her relationship with him is initially a tentative one because of her previous experience with her earlier boyfriend. The film goes on to show her time in a women's refuge: one night as she was singing in a club she was told that there was trouble at her home; when she got there she found that her house had been subject to a fire and her children were injured. The local authority then took her children into care and Maggie now blames Simon for having her children taken from her, but she says she shares some of the blame.
Maggie's relationship with Jorge becomes more intense, but more strained, as Maggie's mental stresses become apparent. They set up home together, and have a daughter, but she is taken from them by the local authority under a Place of Safety order on the grounds that she is an unreliable mother with "low intellect". Jorge is threatened with deportation to Paraguay from the UK, because he has been illegally employed but he is allowed to stay in the UK because of his good character, and the plea he makes to the court. Maggie and Jorge have another baby daughter and once again their child is taken into care. Maggie becomes distraught and has to be sedated.
The couple continue their lives together and the film closes with a caption:
Maggie and Jorge have had three more children whom they have been allowed to keep. They have been given no access to their first two daughters. Maggie says that she thinks every day of all her lost children.
- Crissy Rock as Maggie Conlan
- Vladimir Vega as Jorge
- Sandie Lavelle as Mairead
- Mauricio Venegas as Adrian
- Ray Winstone as Simon
- Claire Perkins as Jill
- Jason Stracey as Sean
- Luke Brown as Mickey
- Lily Farrell as Serena
- Scottie Moore as Maggie's father
- Linda Ross as Maggie's mother
- Rosemary Frankau as Lawyer
- Yvonne Riley as Lead Social Worker