Category Archives: Documentaries

Watch full-length homelessness documentaries online for free.

Brian’s Story – Homeless, Mental Health & Alcohol Documentary (BBC)

Brian’s Story – BBC Documentary Films 2015 – Homeless, Mental Health, Alcohol, Full Documentaries

Brian’s Story – a profoundly moving documentary film about a Cambridge educated journalist who, after a successful career, found himself struggling with homelessness and depression on the streets of London.

Documentary Notes

  • Brian Davis
  • graduated Cambridge at 21
  • published author 7 years later
  • mid 80’s was one of the best know journalists in advertising
  • aged 54 is now homeless and broke.
  • Has been sleeping rough for 7 months on the streets of London at the start of when the documentary was filmed.
  • A career spanning 30 years, he has wrote for most major national newspapers and was widely regarded as an expert in the advertising and film industries.
  • 1984 aged 39 he was made editor of the advertising journal ‘Campaign’ lasting only a week before walking out.
  • During the documentary, he managed to secure a job doing a written interview with Roman Polansky but has arranged to meet Polansky in Paris. Brian manages to raise money for the trip from an old friend in the industry.
  • Brian suffers from manic depression and seeks treatment sporadically but is dismissive of his illness.
  • Brian never made it to Paris after apparently being robbed of the remainder of his money after going to the pub.
  • Brian tries to raise more money by trading in some of his old books for money.
  • Brian finds an advertising agency to agreed to pay for a week in a bed and breakfast and Brian re-finds his enthusiasm for work and starts writing a number of poems.
  • Shortly after his week in the bed and breakfast, he receives £700 worth of benefits from the DSS. Three days later all his money was either spent or ‘lost’.
  • The following days he was arrested by police for leaving restaurants without paying.
  • A family relative has given Brian a place to live in Liverpool. He travels up there immediately, within a couple of days the house is a tip with beer cans and cigarettes strewn all over the place.
  • After 2 weeks of living in his own house the place is an absolute tip. It is clear that Brian struggles to look after himself.
  • Most of Brians benefit money has been spent on cigarettes and/or alcohol.
  • During the filming of the documentary the fire brigade were called into the house to put out a fire which was started because of unattended candles which Brian had lit prior to going out.
  • Social services had also started to visit Brian in his new home.
  • Another fire was started at Brians house, this time considerable damage was caused to the house.
  • Brian started to attend hospital voluntarily and was diagnosed with hyper-mania, a less intense form of mania. Brian stayed at hospital for 6 weeks whilst undergoing treatment.
  • Following Brians attendance at hospital, he was moved into hostel accommodation to assess whether he would be fit to move into a place on his own. He found it hard to settle there and returned back to hospital. A few days later, out of the blue, Brian left to London where he checked into a hotel and bought a bottle of vodka and a bottle of martini.
  • At some point during the night he got up, walked down a flight of stairs and onto a roof balcony.
  • 2 days later his body was discovered in a courtyard below. Brian had fell to his death.

Boulevard Angles – A journey into the ‘Other side of Tinseltown’

BOULEVARD ANGELS- Documentary. A journey into the 'Other side of Tinseltown'

A 1990 Documentary exploring the lives of the Homeless and runaway Teenagers living On The Streets Of Hollywood California.

Take a trip down the Boulevard of broken Dreams ‘Hollywood Boulevard’ and take a journey into the other side of Tinseltown.

As seen through the eyes of some of the homeless street people and runaway teenagers who head to ‘Glamor Capital’ of the USA. Hollywood California.

Boulevard Angels was the first ever documentary film by Filmmaker/Actor Stephen C Page. Shot on a budget of £500 awarded by Walsall Youth Arts the filmmaker set out to Hollywood with just a VHS video camera and spent time living homeless with some of the young people depicted in the film.

Boulevard Angels was the recipient of the ‘Century 21 Award’ awarded at the 1991 ‘Birmingham International Film Festival’.

Brighton Streets (Homeless Documentary, UK)

Brighton Streets (Homeless Documentary)

Camera work by Mohammed Goortani, A short documentary I did a few years ago on the homeless scene in Brighton. After losing a large chunk of footage we never really finished it. Coming across the final cut project again years later I edited together what was there and thought it’s worth uploading. We owe it to all the homeless people willing to open up and share their thoughts. All the best to you! I hope life treats you better in the future and you are off the streets by now.

Directed, edited and produced by Jamie Seidl-Curtis

co-production: Carver Bacchus, Martha Mills

Documentary Notes

  • People begging for money for drink
  • People will sleep in clean skips only to have a roof over their head to provide shelter.
  • A number of homeless people have been banned from hostels due to fighting.
  • Members of the public will abuse homeless people. Spitting, kicking and verbal abuse is common.
  • A number of homeless people have died in Brighton from being kicked to death.
  • Homeless people are moved on by police throughout the night.
  • It’s hard to get a job when you’re homeless
  • Homeless people stick together and help eachother out
  • Drugs caused people to become homeless
  • Most homeless people appear to drink alcohol

Dispatches – Britain’s Street Kids

dispatches britains street kids

Every day hundreds of children are forced to leave home. Some run away, even more are thrown away: discarded and evicted by their parents. This crisis in Britain’s families has created an itinerant population of young people without support or a roof over their heads. The state has to provide, at an immense cost, while voluntary organisations try to plug the gaps in the face of drastic cutbacks and closures.

Directed by award-winning film-maker, Nick Read, and produced by BAFTA-winning team, True Vision (Dispatches: China’s Stolen Children, Chosen), Dispatches follows four teenagers over six months who are struggling to fend for themselves on the streets. Both at risk and a risk to society, for all of them drugs become a way of life, a means of dealing with the stresses and challenges of life away from family and home comforts. All talk candidly and eloquently about why they take flight: family breakdowns; addiction; violence; neglect and abuse. The unspoken truth behind their stories points to both inadequate parenting and severe lack of consistent and effective care once they have left home, which becomes their reality.

In Edinburgh, 16 year old Robyn is a street veteran. She left home aged 12 and soon after she was injected with heroin for the first time. Now she wrestles with her addiction and demons, so that “someone will hear my voice”.

For 16 year old Chelsey, “every day is a battle”, mainly with South London’s housing officers, to find secure accommodation. Having been kicked out of several hostels, she is running out of options.

Seventeen year old Sophie refuses to deal with the ‘system’ at all, preferring to sofa surf in Bristol’s squats in a state of drug-fuelled flux.

Haydon is 17, but barely equipped to face the world on his own. Recently evicted by his mother, he is soon desperate to leave the B&B where he is placed: “I don’t want my independence yet, I’m too young.”

Dispatches: Britain’s Street Kids explores the hidden world of runaway and evicted teenagers, giving them a voice for the first time, and celebrating their extraordinary ability to fend for themselves. – Channel 4, Dispatches

Documentary Notes

  • Hundreds of children are forced to sleep on the streets
  • An estimated 100,000 children under the age of 16 run away from their home every year (stats from the Childrens Society). A large perportion of these children are chucked out of their home and disowned
  • By law all teenagers between ages 16 and 18 who are identified as homeless are the responsibility of local councils.
  • children are drawn away from home because of excitement or possibility of adventure
  • 1 in 9 young people are physically attacked when away from home. Many are sexually assulted.
  • Homeless children who find themselves in long-term hostels have support from social workers around the clock.
  • children often run away from violent families
  • Private landlords and b&b owners take the overflow of homeless children who cannot otherwise be housed in homeless shelters.
  • Many children report that soical authorities are unsympathetic to their needs.
  • Teenage runaways are constantly in transit, searching for refuge to avoid staying on the streets.
  • To survive in a life where violence is normalised, many homeless teenagers try to deal with problems themselves rather than turning to adults for help.
  • 1 in 3 children evicted from home by their parents experienced violence at home.
  • 30% of children brought up in residential care end up running away.
  • In a recent study, the charity railway children interviewed 100 children who had ran away from home under the age of 16. They found that every single child had used either drugs or alcohol.
  • Inconsistent parenting is a common reson why children decide to leave home

No Place to Call Home – 2015 BBC Homeless Documentary

No Place to Call Home BBC Documentary 2015

What’s it like to be homeless in Britain today – when you are ten years old?

BAFTA-winning film-maker Jezza Neumann follows two families for 18 months, from before they are evicted by their private landlords, through over a year in a homeless hostel and months of sofa-surfing with friends and family. Throughout this ordeal 11-year-old Ellie and 10-year-old JJ remain cheerful and resilient, trying to see what they are going through as an adventure that they will one day look back on and laugh about, once they finally have a home they can call their own once again.

But we also see the destructive impact that living with such uncertainty has on young lives, as this film brings to life before our eyes the dry statistics about how children’s education, their physical and mental health, and their future chances in life all suffer as a result of homelessness and eviction.

Record numbers of low-income tenants are being evicted by private landlords. As a result over 80,000 children are now living in temporary housing in the UK, three quarters of them in London. This sensitive film brings home just how destructive that experience can be. – No Place to Call Home – BBC


Documentary Notes

  • Social housing stocks at an all time low
  • 80,000 children living in temporary housing. 75% of which live in London
  • Many more children, families and individuals will not be part of the statistics and will be living temporarily on friends and families floors and setees
  • Since 2000 the number of private lets has almost doubled. This has now overtaken those in social housing for the first time.
  • Children living in temporary housing lose on average 11 weeks of school a year due to house moving.
  • Numbers of families placed in another local authority have gone up 26% in the past year
  • 9 out of 10 are sent from london
  • 300000 people are believed to be sofa surfing, the so-called “hidden homeless”
  • Homeless children are 3-4 times more likely than other kids to develop mental health problems
  • A quarter of London’s homeless spend 2 or more years in temporary accommodation