I was really struck by these atmospheric, beautifully shot videos which use characters from the Wizard of Oz to expose the lives of the hidden homeless, taking the film’s iconic line ‘There’s no place like home’ as inspiration.
Produced to show during the charity Crisis’ recent Coldplay Hidden Gigs in Newcastle and Liverpool, they’ve just gone on public release. Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow face different aspects of homelessness that most people aren’t aware of.
Dorothy flees violence in a B&B, the Cowardly Lion outsays his welcome on a friend’s sofa and the Scarecrow is a lonely squatter.
If using a vintage Hollywood movie to highlight a contemporary social issue via some pleasing visuals sounds like a totally random stab for publicity, then that’s exactly what it is – and frankly, why not?
As Crisis chief executive Leslie Morphy says: “We are always looking for new ways to bring to attention the hidden crisis of homelessness. We hope these videos make people think about the issue, and hopefully help us in our mission to end homelessness by donating or campaigning for change.”
Official statistics at the end of last year showed rising homelessness. Housing minister Grant Shapps insists that the cuts agenda won’t impact on the homeless, but how, with benefits decimated and support services withering away, can the housing situation of the vulnerable be guaranteed?
The Cowardly Lion
The videos were created by Liverpool/London creative agency Mercy, and directed by Nick Brown.