Invisible is a documentary short directed and produced by Arthur Cauty (A Royal Hangover, The Score), which gives an insight into the lives of the homeless in the director’s home town of Bristol (UK), a city where the problem of homelessness has significantly worsened in recent years. The film offers a sensitive and refreshingly candid portrait of a handful of the city’s rough sleepers, away from hyperbole and sensationalism, and features a particularly heart-wrenching interview with a young woman who breaks down as she describes how people walk past and ignore her.
“The idea for the film has been in the back of my mind for a while. I’ve lived in Bristol for 5 years now, and have always found myself struck by the number of men and women propped up in shop doorways adorned with blankets and sleeping bags. And more so recently – I don’t know the stats, but the numbers seem to be perpetually rising.” said Arthur.
“The idea was further solidified whilst eating a (completely superfluous) slab of chocolate cake with my girlfriend by Bristol’s harbourside. We were approached by a dishevelled man who must have been around mid-30’s. He politely and apologetically asked if we could spare a little change, but sadly we had already emptied our pockets for the chocolate cake, which was now little more than crumbs. We ended up chatting for a while, and even though we were unable to give him anything, he was genuinely thankful that we took the time to talk to him, rather than ignore him like so many do.”
“I didn’t want the film to be about me, what I think, or what anyone else thinks. I really I just wanted to give these people a voice, without disruption from presenters, narrators, or unnecessary statistics. I wanted to let them speak, about the streets, about their lives, about their dreams and aspirations, and anything else they wanted to speak about.”
“I filmed this over the course of a few days, and handed out food and drinks to the people I encountered. I hope the film will inspire others to do the same, or at least to stop and listen rather than walk by and ignore these people, which is something I think we’ve all done.”
Invisible was selected by TMFF The Monthly Film Festival, for their June programme, where it ended up as a finalist in the documentary competition. Further festival selections are expected in the coming weeks.
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