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About the film


Every year, thousands of people slip through the net of social care provision into a dark, lonely and often dangerous underworld. Nigel is one of those people. Abandoned by those who should have been caring for him, abused and vulnerable Nigel lived under the radar of social services for 66 months. In this hostile environment, Nigel came to rely on Robbie, an alcoholic. Together they lived in poverty in the midst of the dreaming spires of Oxford. And so began their troubling, disturbing but genuinely loving relationship.

After 66 months Nigel was finally picked up by social services and was provided with a secure and safe place to stay. Told from Nigel’s perspective, this film juxtaposes his present experience of institutional life with a series of memories and flashbacks from his time in the ‘wild’. The film was shot over six years and gives an extraordinary insight into a hidden world, made possible only by the close relationship between the filmmakers and contributors. Many difficult questions are raised about abusive relationships, mental illness and society’s duty of care. But this touching and very personal film reaches beyond these to provide an intimate and complex portrait of a dysfunctional relationship in which physical suffering is ultimately preferable to loneliness.