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.
- 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.
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
- 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
A story of British man who used to be a multi-millionaire but who is now living in his caravan in Lisbon, Portugal following the collapse of his 160 companies around the world in the credit crunch.
Comunidade Vida e Paz is a nonprofit organization in Portugal dedicated to providing the poor and homeless of Lisbon with nutritious meals, clothing, and assistance in the transition to employment and life off the streets. Comunidade Vida e Paz operates a daily meal program through the dedication of its volunteers and is not only serving food and clothes but also gives those homeless people the confidence they so desperately need to become productive members of society again and leave life on the streets. Or if they don´t want to leave the street, Comunidade Vida e Paz volunteers are there to help them making their ways of life a little bit easier.
Tracking device will help keep an eye on children
Missing toddlers and truanting teenagers could soon be things of the past with the development of a revolutionary satellite tracking system to enable parents to keep an eye on their children 24 hours a day. A tiny gadget called KidBug will enable parents to monitor the movements of their children – and the manufacturer plans to give them to 10m parents before the end of the year in the expectation that many will pay the £10-a-month fee to use them.
The 4cm sq unit, which can be concealed in a child’s clothing, will be able to track the precise location of the child to within five feet using the global positioning satellite tracking system (GPS) more usually used to navigate at sea. Tony Rose, owner of CarBug plc, which makes tracking devices for cars, boats and bicycles, devised the idea after his three-year-old daughter Natanya went missing during a trip to Brent Cross shopping centre in north London. He said: “My wife and I were looking in shop windows and she disappeared in those few seconds. Any parent would give anything in the world in those few minutes to know where their child is.
“I thought it would be simple to make a tracking device using the same mapping software we already use to track cars, boats and bikes.” The prototype is already developed and Mr Rose is planning to produce 10m KidBugs in Taiwan at a cost of £500m. Some parents may use KidBug to monitor older children and teenagers suspected of truanting or mixing with the wrong people. For £10 a month, parents will get a card to place in the gadget and activate the tracking system. The child’s location can be shown on a small map on a mobile phone or computer, using satellite navigation and “triangulation” of the mobile phone networks to get locations within buildings. “Eventually, KidBug will be the size of a wristwatch and every child will wear one.” Mr Rose plans to distribute the gadgets through schools and doctors’ surgeries. – from The Guardian, Monday 10th of April 2000