Script File


Log Line: A Black Lives Matter, British Kitchen sink drama about the rehousing of an autistic man in a sink hole estate in the North of England during the height of austerity. Inspired by real events.

Synopsis: Inspired by real events Simple is a visceral mixture of British kitchen sink drama, docu-fiction and American hood movies. It’s about poor black characters struggling to live some semblance of a normal life during politically enforced austerity. David Gandy is a third generation Windrush descendant with learning difficulties who just wants to be left alone, while Ruth Thomas is a smart streetwise son of an American immigrant who just wants a better life for himself and his dog Charley. It’s this unlikely friendship that forms the backbone of the story, one that is tragically undone by the circumstances of the time.

Legislation to give rights to people with physical and mental disabilities was only passed in nineteen seventy, so growing up black with Autism was never going to be easy. As such David Gandy’s childhood was beset by misunderstanding and unfortunate events.

Cut to 2015 when the UK is being investigated by the EU for systematic abuse of disabled people’s rights. With the failure of David Cameron’s Big Society, David’s Mum dies in an overcrowded hospital corridor awaiting treatment. After her house is repossessed to pay for David’s health care needs he is rehoused by his social worker, Cat Moore, in an unsuitable estate in North Manchester where he’s preyed upon by low level drug dealer John Crinshaw.

Meanwhile, Ruth and Charley survive day to day despite absentee parenting and last bill notices. A chance meeting outside a local pawn shop results in Ruth helping David to set up his benefits. Their friendship is somewhat interrupted when Ruth’s brother Marcus returns from prison and re-joins his old gang, the Kings Crew.

As David forms a friendship with his art therapy tutor, Sally Sutherland, Ruth’s life goes into freefall. When he’s evicted from his flat by court order he finds himself asking David for help and ends up moving in with him. Ruth’s situation further deteriorates when he’s taken into custody and accused of assaulting the man he’s currently living with. While in custody David is hospitalised after a savage beating by John and his friends. After his release Ruth implores Cat to move David out of the area but she says her hands are tied by the current state of the health care system.

After David informs the police about who attacked him, the leader of the gang, Vincent King, asks Ruth’s brother and his lieutenant, Lezley Young, to sort it out. After breaking into David’s house Marcus and Lezley confront Ruth and David and ask them to drop the investigation. Despite what’s happened Ruth convinces David that this is the best course of action to avoid further confrontation.

After a tip off however, Vincent sends John Crinshaw on another house invasion to find David’s hidden stash of money, during which he rapes Sally. After she commits suicide Ruth informs the police about who committed the attacks. In a last desperate bid to retain power Vincent King sends Marcus and Lezley to kill both David and Ruth. It’s Marcus however who seizes the reigns, killing both Vincent and his loyal gang members. He then sends his brother to London in the hope he can make a better life for himself. David ends the story by taking up Sally’s place as an Art therapy teacher at Creation.

Influences and Touchstones: The Book of Trespass, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Spike Lee, Hood movies, Blaxploitation, Italian Neo Realism, Stuck Rubber Baby (Comic) Small Axe (2020) The Hate You Give (2018) Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018) Good time (2017) I, Daniel Blake (2016) Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise (2016) Derek (2012-13) Top Boy (2011) The Intouchables (2011) The Arbor (2010) Harry Brown (2009) Mary and Max (2009) The Headless Woman (2008) Garage (2007) Bullet Boy (2004) Menace 2 Society (1993) Boys in the Hood (1991) My Left Foot (1989) Being There (1979) Pressure (1976) The Mack (1973)

  • Dean Straffon
    Z and V, Transit, Wolves
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    United Kingdom
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Writer Biography - Dean Straffon

Going against the odds to see if a man in his late thirties has got what it takes to become a screenwriter.

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Writer Statement

The statement is in the script. I just hope you like it. If you needed some Hip Hop to tip you over the edge, here's a playlist I put together especially for the script. Enjoy: