As a teenager, Lorna Tucker lived on the streets. A man selling The Big Issue became her guardian angel, and her picture appeared in the missing people column in the pages of this magazine. This week, she has in some ways come full circle. Her career as a filmmaker has taken her to our front cover. It’s truly a remarkable story.
Tucker’s previous films include the Netflix documentary Call Me Kate, about Katharine Hepburn; 2018’s Westwood, a portrait of the late legendary designer; and Amá, a documentary on the abuse of Native American women. Her latest, Someone’s Daughter, Someone’s Son, is personal.
She tells the story of her experiences of living on the streets, along with those who have been through it too, including some Big Issue vendors. But she also speaks to experts and campaigners with an idea of how to solve it. Homelessness, she finds, is sometimes spoken about like gravity or earthquakes, but it is not inevitable. As we’ve seen with the Post Office drama, art can galvanise, and make an issue bubble over into a public scandal.
“I’ve never seen a film that has shown you clearly there’s an end to homelessness,” says Tucker. “I have absolute 100% belief that we can end homelessness. Right now we’re at a point where homelessness youth figures are at the highest they’ve been since I was a child on the streets.”
She hopes Someone’s Daughter, Someone’s Son will change that, and serve as a rousing call to action, while also allowing her to leave that part of her life behind. There are screenings of the film from 8 February across the country. Visit someonesdaughterfilm.org to find the one closest to you.
What else is in this week’s Big Issue?
The secret schools for girls in Afghanistan defying the Taliban
Two years ago, Diba was about to finish school and hoped to attend a public university in Afghanistan. But then the Taliban arrived. Everything collapsed overnight. Diba’s studies were swapped for hard labour, her bright clothing with a black veil covering her body head-to-toe. Her future, her face, all disappeared.