Ladybird, Ladybird (film)

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For the 1963 Frank Perry film, see Ladybug Ladybug (film)

Ladybird, Ladybird
Directed by Ken Loach
Produced by Sally Hibbin
Written by Rona Munro
Starring Crissy Rock
Vladimir Vega
Music by George Fenton
Cinematography Barry Ackroyd
Edited by Jonathan Morris
Distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Company
Release date
16 June 1994
Running time
101 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office £97,482[1]

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 a traditional nursery rhyme of the same name. Crissy Rock won the Silver Bear for Best Actress award at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival.[2]


In a karaoke bar Maggie (Crissy Rock), 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-partner (Ray Winstone). 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 partner. 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 her former abusive partner 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 then 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.



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