BUM: 7 Days on the Streets of Melbourne

55 minutes 8.3/10 based on 11 votes

More than 100,000 people in Australia live on the streets without any access to secure and adequate housing. Almost half of them are under the age of 25 and a little over 50% are male.

Melbourne is a modern city with beautiful architecture. Many of its homeless sleep under bridges, in alleys, and in abandoned buildings. A young film student, Callum Padgham, decided to spend a week on the streets of Melbourne with only the clothes on his back while his best friend filmed the whole event during the daytime.

On day one, after stealing a blanket to ward off the cold, he begs a few strangers for money to buy something to eat. People seem willing to give him their spare change. That first night he finds an abandoned building with a few pieces of furniture and spends the night there on a tiny rooftop.

The following day, as he sits on the street holding up two signs, local authorities tell him that he needs to have a busking permit. Of course, he can’t get one because he doesn’t have enough identification.

As the days go by, he starts to feel very lonely and sad and the cold is almost unbearable. He decides to look for a job, but everybody seemed to need him to hand in a resume. As a homeless man, he has no access to a computer. Finally at one fast food restaurant he is given a form to fill out but finds that he can’t answer most of the questions because he has no home address, no home phone, no mobile phone, and no legal identification.

Eventually he decides to go to the government office to seek some type of help. Then he goes to a local church. As each door seems to slam shut in his face, he is filled with anger and deep sympathy for those who are really homeless and don’t have the energy or motivation to go out every day begging for money to be able to eat, much less to look for a job.

Towards the end of his special project, Callum is filled with genuine compassion for the homeless and their daily plight. If only more organizations were willing to lend the homeless a hand and help them to recover their dignity. At the age of twenty, Callum expected to create a hit. Nothing could have prepared him for what he was about to learn on the streets. Watch this film now.

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Discuss This Documentary

  • Dave Allen

    Great observational style documentary, some parts will make you laugh, but mostly he covers a lot of different aspects of the hardship of homelessness. His experiences throughout the 7 days shows that it is very evident that he learnt about a lot of difficulties faced during this time for the real homeless people in Melbourne. Through this learning gives this documentary a sense of being with and learning alongside Callum throughout his journey. Great insight into a world that a lot of us are privileged enough not to have to experience. Highly recommended for anyone who wants gain an insight into this world and most importantly get some perspective about life.

  • B. Kornic

    Most people, very educated, and not educated are unaware of the existence of the very Basic Human Rights. These ae the Rights we are all born with, and without which we are dehumanized, or die. These Rights are not for sale, and one owns them from birth, until death. The following are the Basic Human Rights:
    Food and shelter
    Medical
    Education
    Jobs
    Free speech
    Right to own life
    The rich/powerful people have all these rights. For the others, these are mostly privileges. Every society has an obligation to help those who are unable to secure these Basic Rights. In so many countries, the way the government handles the homelessness, unemployment, or health protection/medical insurance, is to blame the victims who desperately need help.
    U.S.A. has at any given time between 2, to 4 million homeless people. That is a shame.

  • Chris K

    One of the most shallow explorations of homelessness I’ve ever seen. His end monologue sums it all up. This guy didn’t do homelessness, didn’t explore the wide variety of causes and cases and barely scratched the surface of the plentiful folk out there trying to help. He just slept a bit rough for a week, while acting like a moron and made a self indulgent, crap, quasi documentary out of the lousy footage he shot.

    • Thane

      I concur, preppy boy trying get his 15 minutes of fame. I have been homeless and this guy would not survive.

      • TheDarkTruth TDT

        I support both these sentiments..
        Within the first 2 minutes, this POS had actually stolen a legitimate homeless persons freaking dooner! Thoroughly disappointing. He should be ashamed of himself.

  • TheDarkTruth TDT

    This kid is an absolute disgrace.
    He should be absolutely ashamed of himself. It’s children like him, that have no idea about being homeless, and what is really involved that that make life even more difficult for the true homeless. Eating so much in an All You Can Eat buffet, that he throws up (at least once) so he can shovel more food into his face; While he thinks this is likely just fun and games, that particular restaurant most likely has a clause in place, that stops the homeless from getting a good meal, when they manage to scrounge the $7.50 to order the buffet! Well done you piece of shit! Go back home to mummy and daddy and tell all your friends how you roughed it for a whole week this one time.

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