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Under Cover - Film Review

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Published September 23rd 2022
10 Oct 2022 - World Homeless Day: 1 in 201 Aussies homeless
undercover film review, community event, cinema, fun things to do, entertainment, performing arts, actors, margot robbie, hidden faces of homelessness, world homeless day
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Directed by Sue Thomson and narrated by Margot Robbie, Under Cover is a 91 minute long documentary incorporating World Homeless Day on 10 Oct 2022. It'll be showing in select cinemas nationally on 6 October 2022.

This documentary shines a light on the impact of our deepening housing crisis, domestic abuse, mental health challenges and unforeseen circumstances that have made women the collateral damage of its impact. It concentrates on women aged over 55 who are the fastest-growing social group facing homelessness (ABS 2011 vs ABS 2016). Their moving but optimistic portraits reveal the struggles these women face and lay bare the flaws in our society, as well as our economic, and personal fragility in the modern world. The numbers state that 1 in 201 Aussies are currently homeless (ABS 2016) and that 49,200 people will sleep rough on the streets across Australia this year (ABS 2016).

Generally, when we speak of homelessness, the imagery is usually that of a man spread across a park bench or laying on the streets. Women are not who come to mind as they are generally hidden or hide it from their family, unlikely to speak up about their difficulties, or stay under the cover of safety. It may surprise and shock you to know that some 240,000 women over 55 are at risk of homelessness In Australia. Under Cover introduces you to 10 of these women, including a survivor of domestic violence, a former advertising executive, a self-confessed loner and a displaced immigrant, for whom security and shelter are constant unknowns and who, until now, have suffered in silence.

Featuring famed Wirlomin Noongar author Claire G. Coleman among its interviewees, the film inhabits the isolated worlds of these women, whose vulnerability is laid bare alongside the country's still-growing urban sprawl, subpar safety net and strained public housing. Through their testimonies, Under Cover builds an eye-opening mosaic of quiet bravery in the midst of an invisible but endemic crisis impacting women from many walks of life

This is a sombre film of honesty and covers a cross section of women we can all identify with. Some are completely homeless and on the streets when their friends tired of having them on the couch, some living in their cars, some in sub-standard accommodation, and some in hostels with short term timeframes before they have to look for the next abode, still considered homeless. It also highlights how vulnerable women are, when suddenly their partners literally show them the door and not so politely after long term marriages of 40 plus years, with no warning, some having suffered abuse throughout their marriage. They've raised children, taken care of their family and as such have lost themselves with no careers to fall back on.

The scariest realisation is that homelessness can happen to anyone, not just the ones some might consider are in that situation because they are drunks, drug users or have mental health issues. The journey is tiresome and lonely and none of the women are young. Imagine being put in a situation of homelessness at the age of over 60, 70 and even 80. Too old to be employed or get a loan, these women never considered they would be homeless. It's frightening. After living for years in this situation, they tire and feel hopelessness about what the future holds for them. Life hasn't panned out the way they expected. They've lived in houses, some have worked good jobs, some educated their children, and suddenly, life unravelled and through no fault of their own, they found themselves unable to pay their rent or mortgage. Imagine your life without a home. Can you do that? It's a sobering film about how we can never take life for granted and don't know what's around the corner. Hear from the women themselves and perhaps weep for their plight which could easily happen to us. It'll have you question the system we have in place and if it's good enough. Hear from a few that are doing their best to make changes.

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Why? Under Cover - Film Review
When: In select cinemas nationally 6 Oct 2022
Where: Australia
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