The Old Oak, possibly Ken Loach’s final film, is his least challenging for some time, and that’s perhaps why it’s an easier watch than normal. A northern English town sees the arrival of several Syrian families made refugees by the Assad regime; TJ, the owner of the local pub, begins a friendship with Yara, a daughter of one family. The film draws a connection between the displaced Syrians and British former mining communities, both of which groups have had their ways of life taken from them, and sees communal dining as a means to embrace other peoples and practise solidarity. We find it easy to see its cogs turning, and simplistic in its attitudes and characters, but although The Old Oak shows its share of misery and loss, it also conveys a hopeful feeling at times. An interesting film that will generate conversation, and worth seeing.