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28 October 2014

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Nikki Amuka-Bird as Itsche

About the Show

Born Equal started life as a film about homelessness but, as the director Dominic Savage embarked upon his research, a markedly different film began to take shape.

"When I began to look into the problem of homelessness, my sense was that there was a really big issue around people living in temporary accommodation for long periods of time."

They're known as the 'hidden homeless' because, although they've got a roof over their heads, it's far from being a home."

Savage visited a number of these hostels and met many different people who generously shared their stories with him - stories he says he'll never forget.

"I was struck by the diverse reasons why people end up in those places: a fall from grace, a relationship break-up, coming out of prison, leaving the Army, being a refugee. All of those different stories come together in this one place and, for me, that was the starting-point of the film."

One of the hostels Savage visited was located in London's Swiss Cottage, literally around the corner from a row of multi-million-pound homes.

"I knew then that one of the issues I really wanted to deal with was the extremes of difference in people's lives - and, in a place like London, those extremes can be experienced within just a few streets. People can be in hugely different worlds but sharing the same space.

"The film shows huge contrasts between people and how they live, their ideas, what they've got and what they haven't got," says Savage, who points out that although the film is set in London, the same contrasts can be seen all over Britain.

"In the end, what the film aspires to achieve is to encourage people to think more about others, care about the less fortunate and be more aware of what's going on around them."

  • Read interviews with the stars of Born Equal »

  • The Cast

    Anne-Marie Duff as Michelle
    Anne-Marie Duff
    Robert Carlyle as Robert
    Robert Carlyle
    Nikki Amuka-Bird & David Oyelowo as Itsche & Yemi
    Nikki Amuka-Bird & David Oyelowo
    Itsche & Yemi

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