Ladybird Ladybird

Synopsis: This Ken Loach docu-drama relates the story of a British woman's fight with Social Services over the care of her children. Maggie has a history of bouncing from one abusive relationship to another. She has four children, of four different fathers, who came to the attention of Social Services when they were injured in a fire. Subsequently, Maggie was found to be an "unfit mother" and her children were removed from her care. She finally meets the man of her dreams, a Paraguayan expatriate, and they start a family together. Unfortunately, Social Services seems unwilling to accept that her life has changed and rends them from their new children. She and Jorge together, and separately, fight Social Services, Immigration, and other government bureaucrats in a desperate battle to make their family whole again.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Ken Loach
Production: Hallmark Entertainment
  6 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
101 min

Thank you, Maggie.

We're gonna take a five-minute break.

- Your voice is really beautiful.

- Sorry?

- Your voice is really beautiful.

- Oh, yeah? Ta.

- Um, so you want a drink?

- Sorry?

Would you like a drink?

No, it's all right, cos I'm up there with me

sister and her husband and me mate, Jill.

Well, I, er... I'd like

to talk to you and, er...

Why don't we have one?

Just five minutes?

And it won't be long. I mean...

- I tell you what, I'll have one drink. Just one.

- OK.

- I'll just get me bag.

- What would you like?

- I'll have half a lager.

- OK, can we have it on the other side?

It's quieter there. OK?

Oh, my God! I think I've tacked off

with Julio Ingleses.

Hey, take it easy

and keep your knickers on.

I will.

- Where're you sitting?

- We sit over here.

What's your name anyway?

My name is Jorge.

- Who? Who-hey?

- Jorge.

- Who?

- J-O-R-G-E.

- Jorge.

- Who-hey. I can't say it.

- Come on, it's easy.

- I can't say it.

J- O-R-G-E. Jorge.

- It sounds like George, doesn't it?

- It is George.

- Well, is it all right if I call you George?

- That's nice.

- My name's Maggie, by the way.

- Hello, Maggie.

- Where are you from?

- Um... I'm from Paraguay.

- Paraguay?

- It's a little country in South America.

- Here y'are, have one of these.

- OK, thank you. Thank you.

Oh, here y'are.

Um... I think your song was beautiful.

My song?

Oh, thanks, George.

But, um...

I thought you were a bit sad though.

Sad, me? No, I'm not sad.

Well, you looked sad.

Maybe I've got lots to be sad about.

You never know, do you, George?

- You have worries?

- God, we all have worries.

Well, maybe I can help you?

You help me?

That'd be a laugh.

I don't think you could help me.

Well, perhaps I could, you know?


You got kids, have you, George?

No, I don't.

I have. Four.

Four lovely little babies,

but they're not with me at the moment.

Social Services have got them.

Oh. Oh.

I travel a lot. I've been in Spain,

United States, Manchester, Liverpool...

- Liverpool? I was born in Liverpool.

- Really?

But I haven't been back for years.

God, I don't half miss it.

I've been living up here years.

- I was born in Liverpool.

- Oh, right.

I haven't been there for years, God.

You must have been a pretty little girl.


God, that was a long time ago, wasn't it?

When I was little.

Come on!

You're not jumping high enough!

I don't remember much

about being little.

I don't remember much

till I was about five.

Do you think I'm f***ing stupid?

You f***ing twat!

F***ing b*tch! I f***ing hate you!

I'll bash the f*** out of you, b*tch!

F***ing twat!

Tell her to pick the f***ing toys

up off the floor!

Don't cry.

Get in and pick the toys up.

Maggie, come on, love...

I'll f***in' batter you! F***ing c*nt!

I'll f***in' kill you!

- Mummy!

- F***in' b*tch!

Anyway, I'd really not like to talk about it.

To be honest.

- I would like to know, you know.

- You'd like to know about me? Why?


Why would they take your kids from you?

As I say... They like to keep busy.

Like to keep interferin'.

- Do you know what social workers are?

- No.


Well... social workers

is what's got my kids.

Maybe I'll get them back, maybe I won't.

There's Sean, with Mary.

There's Serena.

And there's Mickey.

Four different kids to four different dads.

You think I should get it on a t-shirt?

Save everyone asking questions.

- I think you have been unlucky.

- Unlucky?

Mairead wouldn't say that.

Mairead said I was being stupid.

She says I smell trouble

and I go to bed with it.

- Hey, what's that?

- That's made by the children. It's for tourists.

- Is it? Ah, it's lovely, isn't it?

- Yeah, it's nice.

- Maggie! We're goin'!

- Oh, sh*t, that's Mairead.

Look, I'll have to go.

- We'll miss the bus!

- I'm comin' now!

- Don't go yet.

- Nice meeting you. Thanks for the lager.

- Ta-ra! Coming!

- Maggie, wait!

- Qu pas con la nia?

- Se fue.

Otra vez?

Yo tengo dos,

tengo dos esperndome afuera.

- Puta, y dej la...

- Dejrsela?

- Se la voy a dejar.

- Te espero aqui.

- Si, esprame aqui.

- Bueno.



Maggie, stop!

Oh, here it is.

- Are you enjoying that?

- Oh... it's OK.

- Let me tell you something.

- Go on.

Do you know where is the best pizza

in the world?

What, where you get the best pizza

in the world?

- Lake Ypacari in Paraguay.

- Go away!

Listen... have some wine,

you see pretty lake...

- Yeah.

- Complete paradise.


You have the trees,

the birds, the mountains.

Not even in Italy you get that.

Are you a travel agent, George?

I'm not. I'm a poet.

- A what?

- A poet.

Go on then, tell me a poem.

Let's see.

Candelas encendidas

encienden candelas.


Candelas que fueron apagadas

encendern nuevas candelas.

Asi es la lucha.

Candelas que se encienden y apagan.

What the bloody hell was that about?

That means...

Candles light new candles.

Candles that die... still you can

light another one from them.

That's a struggle, and that's hope.

Candles that light and die.

- Oh, that was lovely, that.

- Yeah.

That was really nice.

Was that one of your poems?

- No, it's not mine. Do you like it?

- It was lovely.

You're winding me up,

you're not a bloody poet at all!

You're just winding me up.

- Well... now I travel.

- Mmh?

I've been in Mexico, USA, Spain

and I want to do

the same work I did at home.

To have a home for people

who need shelter.

Now I'm here, it's difficult.

I've got no one.

I have to start from nothing,

so I take any job.

Any job I can get.

Oh... That's dead sad, that.

Will you come home with me tonight?

Get it down here!

- Come in.

- Oh, I'm freezin'!

Close the door.

All right?

Jesus, it's freezin'.

I'm sorry it's so... so messy here.

Sit somewhere.

I'll tell you what, I'll get off

because it's dead late and everything.

- I really should've gone back to the refuge.

- You don't have to go now.

Sorry if you think

I've messed you about, but...

- I just don't want to be here.

- I don't understand. Look...

You've missed the bus,

it's dark, it's late.

It's dangerous, it's wet.

I mean, what are you going to do there?

Let's have a coffee and see...

what more minutes... four, five minutes.

All right, one coffee,

and then I'll get off.

- OK. I'll help you with your coat.

- No, no, you make the coffee.

It's all right, I'll do this myself.

It's freezing.

What are all these pictures?

Are these of all of your family?

Yes, yes.

- You've got it nice here, haven't you?

- Yeah, it is... I like it.

You wanna see where I live.

It's like a cupboard.

- Milk and sugar?

- Yeah, love. Ta.

- Here's the coffee.

- Oh, ta.

God, you don't realise how much sound goes

round your head till there's nothing there.

Tell me... why they would

take your kids away from you?


I went out with this fella...

and... when I first met him,

it was brilliant.

We used to have a laugh.

Everything was great.

Used to follow me down the supermarket

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Rona Munro

Rona Munro (born 7 September 1959) is a Scottish writer. She has written plays for theatre, radio, and television. Her film work includes Ken Loach's Ladybird, Ladybird (1994), Oranges and Sunshine (2010) for Jim Loach and Aimée & Jaguar (1999), co-authored by German director Max Färberböck. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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