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A Reason To Live

Distributed by Media Projects Inc., 5215 Homer Street, Dallas, TX 75206; 214-826-3863
Produced by Cynthia Salzman Mondell and Allen Mondell
Directed by Cynthia Salzman Mondell and Allen Mondell
DVD, color, 52 min.
Jr. High - Adult
Psychology, Social Sciences

Reviewed by Karen Coronado, George Fox University, Newberg, OR

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
Date Entered: 4/8/2009

This documentary presents 12 personal stories about depression and suicide. The film begins with two re-enactments of actual phone calls to a crisis line from a young man and a young woman who both admit to be either contemplating or actually planning to commit suicide. The film then transitions to the beginning of several accounts from individuals about their own experiences with depression. Each account is followed by some input from family members. At about nine minutes into the film the viewer is taken back to where the two crisis phone calls had left off. At that point another piece of each crisis line re-enactment is played out followed by a shift back to the stories that are being shared by the young people and their families. The film follows this pattern throughout its entirety ending with successful resolutions to the crisis calls and final thoughts from some of the young people. The tempo and variety of content makes it an interesting and engaging production from beginning to end. Audio and video qualities are excellent.

This film encompasses an array of individuals and unique experiences that will speak to a variety of audiences. Several of the young people have carried out suicide attempts or gestures and one story is through the eyes of a father whose daughter took her own life. The various segments of the video are initiated by questions that are presented to the viewer. This provides a logical progression through the narratives and brings focus to particular issues such as feelings, coping choices, consequences, and warning signs.

Providing an appropriately balanced presentation that neither sugarcoats reality nor sensationalizes the real life drama of these individuals, this documentary is a class act. The amazing individuals who shared from their pain and struggles are to be commended and respected for their honesty, courage, and dignity. The producers of this film have provided a compassionate educational tool that is destined to have a positive impact. This film is highly recommended