Daisy-May Hudson was bought a video camera for her 21st birthday and used it to document the struggle herself, her younger sister and mum went through when they found themselves having to declare themselves homeless.
This is Daisy’s first film which she has directed and produced herself. She’s now MASSIVELY, DESERVEDLY, been crowned one of BAFTA’s breakthrough Brits for her work.
I saw Daisy’s film on Sunday at Genesis Cinema in Stepney Green (who are doing a ‘directed by women’ season showing 52 films directed by women – so check them out too https://genesiscinema.co.uk/). Daisy herself was there, introduced the film and did a quick Q&A after the showing.
The documentary follows a year in the life of Daisy, her mum and sister. They had previously spent their lives renting a home in Epping. But when Tesco (who owned the land) decided to sell – Daisy’s mum, who’d worked all her life, found herself priced out of their area and unable to afford a private rental. She made the difficult decision to declare them homeless and they spent the next year of their lives in temporary housing in Epping while Daisy’s mum contributed rent of over £500 each month to try to keep a roof over their heads – with no real say in what kind of roof that would be.
Daisy, her younger sister (who turns 14 in the film) and her mother are a strong family unit – but, equally, they are three strong, intelligent and charismatic individuals. Daisy describes the film as a way for them to regain power in a situation in which they found themselves powerless.
The year they had is a heart wrenching snap shot into a faceless system which is fundamentally flawed – with seemingly no real understanding or awareness of the people inside it.
The film is a call to action for our government and an important experience shared for so many people within our society who have had/or are having similar struggles. Which is ALOT – more than 120,000 children were homeless or in temporary accommodation this Christmas according to Shelter (http://www.shelter.org.uk/).
Unfortunately the showing itself was fairly baffling as, despite Daisy being in the news and the film receiving much praise, there couldn’t have been more than 12 other women there – and it really was women only. When I fist walked into ‘screen 4’ I had to go back to check I had the right room – as it was empty. It was an important reminder for myself as to why I was doing this project.
This was especially devastating as the film itself was a masterpiece – that all Londoners, nigh all people living within this our society, would benefit from watching.
Daisy-May Hudson is fantastic. She’s achieved something incredible here. I hope it provides the traction so desperately needed to help create positive change.