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28 February 2019

A moving tribute.

by Jason Stone

Suicide Zero: “Ode to Andrew” - 5 mins 22s

This immensely moving film by Swedish director Freshteh looks at suicide from the perspective of the daughter of a man who has taken his own life.

Andrew was a Ugandan who had made a life in Sweden where he fathered two daughters - Janice and Rebecka. The film is narrated by the former, an aspiring musician who - when she was a little girl - had told her dad that she was going to be the next Whitney Houston.

This film is rich with Janice's love for her father. No anger is expressed at him for removing himself from her life no matter how much it pained her. It appears she's been able to put some distance between him and the illness which took his life and in talking freely about him and how his life ended, she is trying to achieve the film's stated aim of breaking 'the silence around suicide'. But this film's stance is different from the ongoing effort to shine a light on the particular difficulty posed by suicide - especially male suicide - that we've witnessed in the last few years. The aim here is less goal-oriented, simply stressing the importance being open about suicide. It feels much more likely to get people thinking and talking than work which confronts the problem more explicitly and can actually reinforce the idea that suicide is an option for those struggling with their mental health.

It's also a wonderful tribute to a much moved father that looks beyond the manner of his death and offers a grieving daughter the chance to publicly acknowledge her enduring love for him.

Director: Freshteh (Park Village Ⓟ Ⓦ)
Cinematographer: Viktor Kumlin
Editor: Nils Ossian Andersson
Colourist: Johan Wiman

David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.