Though most of us don’t talk about experiences regarding suicide, Producer and Film Director Kathy Leichter is bringing her film, Here One Day to Lake Placid and Whallonsburg. She hopes that her own family’s personal tragedy about her bipolar mother’s suicide will help end the stigma of mental illness and suicide.
The film Here One Day is told through the intimate, emotional audiotapes left by a bipolar Nina Leichter (the filmmaker’s mother) after her suicide. This raw film unearths the effects of mental illness, family relationships and the indelible mark that suicide leaves on those left behind.
According to Director/Producer Kathy Leichter the Here One Day screenings are combined with community education nights to create a safe space to share stories about mental illness. She wants to help link the audience to local support.
“I always use the film to create a conversion about suicide. It is considered taboo, but still prevalent,” says Leichter. “People don’t talk about these things. We feel isolated and ashamed. People feel guilt and blame. The best thing we can do is to create safe places to discuss these topics.”
Though the film has been screened at prestigious film festivals internationally and across the country with wonderful response, Leichter has been most surprised by how her very personal story has been so healing to so many others.
“People see us on screen and see a human story that speaks to individuals,” says Leichter. “That was my goal [in making this film], to create a dialog with other people. It is really important to work with local mental heath organizations like the Essex and Franklin County Suicide Prevention Coalitions.”
The Community Night starts at 6:30 pm both evenings with the film opening at 7 pm. There will be an open discussion following the film and a question/answer (Q&A) session with the filmmaker. Local mental health professionals will also be available during the discussion sessions.
“Here One Day” will be shown for free (donations are accepted) July 14 at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, and July 15 at The Grange in Whallonsburg. Recommended for children ages 13 and up, as long as people understand the movie deals with the strong subject matter of suicide.