The Criterion Collection’s Kes

The Criterion Collection has released a newly restored digital transfer of the 1969 film Kes. Based on the book A Kestrel For A Knave, by Barry Hines, the film has been named by the British Film Institute as one of the ten best British films of the century.

Directed by Ken Loach, Kes centers around a working-class 15-year-old named Billy. He lives in South Yorkshire, is bullied at home and at school, and learns about falconry as he begins to train a wild kestrel. Viewers can’t help but root for the troubled Billy in this coming-of-age tale as he goes from triumph to heartbreak, while struggling with daily life in his small town. The film is a bit dark, but also tinged with a warmth and humor within the melancholy.

A few things that help make Criterion editions of classic and contemporary films a more complete movie experience are the supplemental disc features and the informational booklets that come with the films. Reading in depth about the film and viewing the bonus footage make them an even greater experience, and that is definitely the case with Kes. The film is available at AADL on DVDand Blu-ray.