August 3, 2020
By the late 1960s, the coal industry in Yorkshire was in decline, and the resulting poverty, apathy and hopelessness of youth in the community is explored in Kes. David Bradley plays the main character, Billy Casper, a sullen young man who develops a special relationship with a hawk, the Kestral of the title. The ending is especially heartbreaking, and the film's depiction of bullying is unpleasant at times. But ultimately this is a moving story that perfectly captures the way people grew up in northern England in the late '60s and early '70s. That world is long gone, but the great thing about the movies is that they can transport us to a different time and place and show us how basically similar we all are.