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photo The Choice of a Lifetime
Returning from the Brink of Suicide
A New Day film by Nila Bogue

A suicide attempt is made every minute in the United States - every 17 minutes, one of those attempts is fatal. Over five million people alive today have made a suicide attempt at some time in their lives. This disturbing, but ultimately inspiring, film is told from the point of view of six people, ages 21 to 73 and of different ethnic backgrounds and life circumstances, who stepped back from the brink of suicide.

We meet John, a retired physician who longs to join his beloved wife after she died of cancer; Heather, a young lesbian unable to face the scorn of her family; Luis, a Mexican-American drawn to the "collective suicide" of gang violence; Pamela, a corporate salewoman addicted to risky behavior; Chris, a Native American shunned by his family after he tells them he was a victim of incest; and Debra, an African-American who turns to alcohol after being raped in her teens and then abused by the husband she hoped would save her.

In candid interviews, they examine the circumstances that led to their despair, the forces that stopped them, and the methods of healing they discovered, including therapy, support groups, spirituality, and artistic expression. Weaving their intimate stories together with expressive black and white imagery, this provocative documentary offers a life-affirming look at an often taboo subject.

53 minutes
© 1996
Purchase $250.00 DVD
Order No. QA-294

"The best film on the subject, unique in its diversity of subjects and their stories."
Dr. Richard Seiden, University of California, Berkeley

"Powerful and poignant... First class documentary filmmaking."
The Humanist Psychologist

"Strongly recommended to anyone concerned with this urgent national problem."

"Deeply moving... excellent production values... recommended strongly."
MC Journal

"An inspiring look at lives brough back from the brink."

"The excellent documentary provides valuable insight into the will to live... recommended for...general audiences from high school and up."
Library Journal

"Strongly recommended to anyone concerned with this urgent national problem." Video Librarian

"Deeply moving, with excellent production values. Recommend strongly for health sciences collections." MC Journal

Awards & Conference Screenings
Silver Apple, National Educational Media Network
Outstanding Documentary Award, Western Psychological Association
Elda Hartley Film Award, Institute of Noetic Sciences
American Association of Suicidology Conference
American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
National Council of Social Studies Conference
Suicide: Prevention and Early Intervention Conference
Spirit in Healing Conference

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Between the Lines: A visually lyrical, experimental documentary about women who cut themselves, this film explores the fine line between self-destructive behavior and self-preserving coping mechanisms.

Remembering Tom: This powerful film explores the tragic aftermath of a young manís suicide, and its devastating impact on his entire family.

Self Deliverance: This unflinching portrait was filmed in Australia's Northern Territory, where Parliament was debating the world's first legislation guaranteeing terminally ill people the right to a physician-assisted death. It includes articulate testimony from physicians on both sides of this controversial issue, but its primary focus is on one courageous man's determination to confront death in his own way.

A Need to Connect: An honest, intimate portrait of a young woman who attempted suicide after the man she loved killed himself in her presence.

Toward Daylight: Suicide is never the final word for those left behind. It alters lives forever and crosses all human boundaries. TOWARD DAYLIGHT kindles the hope necessary for the living to face, and then move on from, the pain and loss of suicide.


Awards & Screenings

Related Films

Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website