Suicide is awful, period. Whether for those close to the victim or for society at large, it's a subject that is difficult to deal with and talk about. We all search for the reasons why a person would choose their demise, thinking it's the only answer to their life. As cinema has always represented what our society goes through, many movies have successfully shed light on the topic of suicide. Some of the best movies about suicide are celebrated for their handling of the subject and the relatability they offer to many people.
These movies not only provide a window into what might be going on with someone contemplating suicide, but they also offer hope and illustrate how suicide can impact loved ones. Movies can give men who are feeling suicidal a chance at life again and help them understand that suicide is not the only option left.
On World Suicide Prevention Day, we list movies that can provide hope for suicidal men while also serving as educational tools for their loved ones.
Scent of a Woman
"Scent of a Woman" is a beautiful movie that encapsulates the experience of losing everything in life. It follows the story of retired Colonel Frank, who is blind, and his caretaker Charlie, a high schooler from a prestigious school. The events in the story gradually reveal the reasons behind the Colonel’s blindness and the causes of his erratic and stubborn behaviors as he succumbs to his lost faith in life. Charlie becomes the savior in his morbid life, emphasizing friendship, mental illness, and the importance of not giving up.
Manchester by the Sea
A heartbreaking story of a father who made an innocent mistake that changed his life forever. This beautiful tale explores the guilt a man faces in society and the role of gender in certain situations. Lee Chandler, the main character, is a relatable and beaten-down man who, due to being deemed the guardian of his nephew, must confront his past. It's one of the best movies about suicide and mental illness that every man should have on their watchlist.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" is a coming-of-age movie that every young man, boy, and adult should watch. It is a poetic and heartbreaking story hidden in the facade of a light teen movie, dealing with strong themes such as abuse, mental health, depression, and suicide. The film follows the tale of Charlie, a freshman in high school, and provides a perspective on how everyone is fighting their own battles every day. It is still considered one of the best movies about suicide and depression worldwide.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
A movie about suicide, crime, injustice, and sickness. "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" follows a cast of well-written characters, particularly the protagonist, Mildred Hayes, seeking justice for her daughter’s murder. The character of Police Chief Bill Willoughby stands out as a poignant example of mental health in gendered roles, portraying hope despite his impending illness. The film, awarded numerous Oscar nominations, is one of the best movies about suicide and injustice.
A Silent Voice
A Japanese animation film but nonetheless a powerful one, "A Silent Voice" takes you through a story about redemption, forgiveness, and depression. It portrays the journey of a young boy who bullies a deaf transfer student and later seeks forgiveness and friendship. Despite being an animation, "A Silent Voice" succeeds in portraying mental health more than most movies and is a must-watch for any adult male.
"Girl, Interrupted" is a movie adapted from the memoir of Susanna Kaysen, based on true events of her life in a psychiatric hospital due to a personality disorder. It is an uncomfortable movie due to its realism, strongly dealing with themes of weakness, vulnerability, mental illness, depression, and vividly including suicide. Recommended for those comfortable with vivid visuals of such themes, it is one of the best movies about suicide.
A Star is Born
"A Star is Born" is a classic story with many reiterations, and this particular movie stands out the most. It follows the story of a successful musician, also an alcohol addict, who helps a talented girl achieve stardom. The movie explores addiction, rehabilitation, the impact of lost fame, depicting feelings of jealousy and hopelessness, and the recurring answer of suicide as a way out.
Suicide has been a part of human psychology throughout our species' history and is unfortunately prevalent in the modern day. As a man, it is crucial to never lose hope and keep going, no matter how challenging life may get. These movies educate about the effects of suicide on loved ones and how one can succumb to it. However, they also teach a vital lesson of hope, the only reason worth fighting for—a better day, a better life, and a better you. If you or someone you know needs help, seek assistance from a mental health expert immediately and take the initiative for a better future.
Written by: Ridhiman Das
Edited by: Aniket Joshi