The documentary bringing truth to Britain’s shameful homeless situation
The short documentary film, Deleted, directed by Stephan Pierre Mitchell documents the last five hours of Ahmed Sadiqqi Hussein before he is evicted from his home in north-west London and provides an insightful perspective into the life of the many homeless people in the UK. The documentary also follows the life of Hussein as he lived on the streets of London. The 59-Year-old, said to have contracted cancer and pneumonia whilst homeless, had been living on the streets for over a year while the film was shot, before he tragically passed away in May earlier this year.
The documentary points to a failing bureaucratic governmental system being the reason for the mass number of evictions and homelessness experienced in the United Kingdom annually.
According to the Office for National Statistics, “597 homeless people were found dead in 2018.”
“An ever-more bureaucratic and computerised system is making it harder for British people to access the information and support that they need in order to keep a roof over their head”, says Mitchell.
The film addresses the homeless situation in a sensitive yet constructive way. As an audience member you find yourself continually warming up to Ahmed as you begin to understand his story and sympathise with his situation. The cinematic imagery captured by the Director of Photography, Aaran Green is clearly well thought out by the director and helps to embody specific elements of Ahmed’s personality and hidden suffering. It is achieved in an intelligent form that is neither forceful nor condescending to the audience or Ahmed himself. Unconventional shots in the film capture elements of Ahmed that perhaps would otherwise be lost. Extreme closeups and unusual imagery provide a vivid insight into the life of Ahmed and what he experiences everyday while on the street. As an audience member you enter into his mind with far greater certainty than what would be expected from the standard confessional interview.
Supporting the imagery is the subtle and lush-sounding music score by composer, Mathew Slater. Though simple in its orchestration, Slater’s music powerfully adds to the uncovering of this story. In a similar fashion, the music gently adds to the unfolding and understanding of the emotions of Ahmed rather than ‘pulling at the heartstrings’ as it were. Stunningly executed and perfectly placed, the music is an even more lucid guide through Ahmed’s world. Even as Ahmed opens up about specific elements in his story that are seldom expected or unthought of, the music continually finds a way to reflect the themes and emotions onscreen throughout.
Having already won runner-up at Sunderland Shorts Film Festival and received a special commendation at the British Independent Film Festival, the film is already making strides and is set to continue its success premiering at both national and international film festivals.
“Late payments by the Department for Work and Pensions causes over 92,000 claimants each year” and the situation is not improving.
As the film reiterates, it is not just Ahmed who has suffered. His story represents one of the many thousands that still exist across the country.
Stephan Pierre Mitchell continues working to promote Ahmed’s story, enabling a voice to the many voiceless that there are in the United Kingdom.