Tag Archives: film

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’.

Broken Lives Illustrated Homeless Documentary

Broken Lives Illustrated Homeless Documentary

Broken Lives Illustrated is the story of 12 homeless individuals living in St. Pete, Florida.
The subjects were interviewed and then turned into fine art by artist Jake Troyli jaketroyli.com

More info on their original kickstarter listing here

Documentary Notes

Hearing the stories of the homeless and expressing them through artwork.


Kevin Farley, college educated, ex-carpenter lost his job and girlfriend in Kentucky, USA.

Brian Douglas, lives in Maryland, born in Connecticut. Recovering drug addict following a biker lifestyle for many years. A bike accident now means his only form of income is disability allowance. Explains a lot of fights and robbery on the streets.

Borris Samson, St Petersberg, Florida. Spent a lot of time in children’s homes/re-formitory schools. Talks about sexual abuse, and beatings when he was a young child at said school.  The worst part of living on the street: no structure. Stuck in his past. Lived his life in and out of prison. “Existing without a purpose”.

Dave, been arrested 39 times in 2013.

Adam, absolute hero.

Hardest part about being on the streets? – Finding a safe place to sleep

Why don’t people sleep in hostels or shelters? – Hostels and shelter are noisy, smelly, cramped, hard to get any sleep.



  • Various forms of drug and alcohol use
  • Mostly results from losing a job
  • High reported rates of violent crimes on the streets
  • Theft of the streets
  • High reported rates of sexual abuse
  • Living day to day, often living with other families

Further Resources

St Vincents de Paul Shelter

Big City Life – Homeless in New York

Big City Life: Homeless in NY (RT Documentary)

There are around 1,750,000 homeless people in the USA today. According to the 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, nearly 64,000 people, including 22,000 children, are homeless in New York City. Through an artist who paints New York vagrants, RT relays the life stories of people who live on the edge, learns how they came to the streets and how to survive there. We also meet some of the dedicated volunteers who do what they can to help.

Documentary Notes

  • People feel safer on the streets
  • Have to sleep with one eye open in hostels
  • More opportunity to get mugged or raped in hostels
  • People commit crime on purpose in order to go to prison/jail to get shelter and food.
  • Homeless people do not have a fixed address and thus find it hard to claim certain benefits
  • Drastic increase in the number of soup kitchens opening up in New York
  • Easier to earn money on the streets
  • Cramped in hostels
  • Noisy & Unclean conditions in hostels
  • A lot of mental illness on the streets
  • Most people get into drugs and substance abuse issues after they are homeless
  • When you’re living on the streets it’s very hard to “come back” and improve your current living position

An unsuccessful story – from Millionaire to Homeless

An unsuccessful story – from Millionaire to Homeless

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