Canberra is known for its affluence and is quickly becoming a global city, however, global cities still have local shortcomings.'Brothers In Alms' tells the story of four homeless men living on the streets of Canberra, Australia. The short film uses the documentary form to experiment with style while tackling the serious subject of home deprivation. An observation of city life as told by those living on the streets, 'Brothers In Alms' brings the audience eye to eye with some of our most vulnerable citizens.
Sebastian Chan, director/producer, explains his inspiration and motivation behind the film.
"As a filmmaker, I'm always observing and challenging my thinking on a daily basis. I'd wanted to make a film about this subject for quite some time but wasn't sure how to go about it. It wasn't until I started volunteering with a charity that I found the confidence to approach the characters in the film.
From the group of friends I had made, it really came down to time constraints and who was around when the film was being shot that determined who was in it. I've learned that, while there are similarities, there is never one story the same and every case is different with its own challenges and its own solutions. There is no all-inclusive solution or quick fix, the causes of homelessness are deep and systematic and need a wide ranging approach from all levels of government and society to properly address it ."
Synopsis & Introduction
Fact 1: There are 105,237 people homeless in Australia on any given night.
Fact 2: Only 6% of people who are homeless are sleeping on the streets.
Fact 3: 17,845 Australian children under 12 years old are homeless.
Fact 4: Of homeless Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 75% were in severely overcrowded dwellings.
Fact 5: Domestic and family violence is the number one reason people seek support from specialist homelessness services.
(Courtesy of Mission Australia)
If you would like to help the people you've seen in the film you may like to contribute to one of these charities that work closely with Canberra's homeless population.
Orange Sky Laundry - Mobile laundry service for the homeless.
St Vincent de Paul Society - Vinnies provides many services to those in need including a Night Patrol Van and the all-important 'Street To Home' program.