Year of Production: 2000
Duration: 52 minutes
2003 Centenary Medal for documentary script writing
2002 Nominee NSW Premier’s Literary Prize
2002 Nominee Critics Circle Award
2001 AWGIE Award
2001 Cork Film Festival
A documentary about youth suicide from a very personal perspective set in the rural community of Geraldton, Western Australia.
James Dalmann killed himself in 1996. He was 20. In this very personal film, director Jessica Douglas-Henry returns to Geraldton in Western Australia with her sister Alix to document the impact of her brother’ s death. Alix was the person closest to James. She was 17 when he died. In the three years that followed, she lost five other friends to suicide. Although this film is about James, it’s also Alix’s story. It’s about the people left behind, whose lives have been changed forever by the suicide of someone they loved. Retelling the story is one way to reconcile what has happened. It’s a difficult but necessary journey, and in the end, a life-affirming one.
“This is a film which is told with such simplicity and integrity that the effect is quite extraordinary. Films about suicide are hard to make because the loss is often so overwhelming it can be impossible to move beyond that, but through an openness and sensitivity on the part of the director this film succeeds and, by the end, becomes a hymn of love.”
“Stories such as this can be powerful ways of moving community attitudes towards an understanding of mental health, social and mental well-being, and the risks and protective factors in the lives of young people.”
Professor Ian Webster AO,
Chair of the National Advisory Council for Youth Suicide Prevention.
A Film Australia National Interest Program in association with Iris Pictures Pty Ltd. Developed with the assistance of the New South Wales Film and Television Office and the Australian Film Commission. Produced in association with SBS Independent.
executive producers — Franco di Chiera
producer — Mary-Ellen Mullane
director — Jessica Douglas-Henry
writer — Jessica Douglas-Henry