I'll Love You Till The End an intimate film that sensitively examines the experience of bereavement by suicide. Through recounting her own experience of her father’s suicide, and capturing revealing interviews with mothers, sisters and brothers, director Bex Singleton opens a window into what happens for those left behind when someone takes their own life.
Reserve tickets here to join us for a live online Q&A with director Bex Singleton on Thursday 14 May at 8.30pm. Subtitles for Deaf and Hard-of-hearing audiences are available, with thanks to Matchbox Cinesub and Film Hub Scotland. The film is available to watch for free, but if you would like to support the festival by buying a 'pay what you can' ticket, you can do so here.
“It’s certainly a death like no other to come to terms with.”
- David, I’ll Love You Till The End
Bereavement by suicide is one of the most common subjects explored by documentary films at SMHAF. This reflects the impact that suicide has on those left behind, but also highights just how common the experience is; every 40 seconds, someone in the world takes their own life. Filmmakers producing this work are usually drawing on personal experience, using the creative process to work through their grief for a friend or a family member, often after years have passed.
Last year, we screened Evelyn, a film of quiet but extraordinary power by the Oscar-winning director Orlando Von Einsiedel, as well as Hannah Currie’s We Are All Here, exploring the death of 21-year-old Glasgow rapper Lumo. Others that stick in the mind are Waterfall, a short experimental essay film by Tom Lock Griffiths, shot using entirely underwater imagery, and, going back further, the SMHAF 2014 Jury Prize winner Here One Day, which saw director Kathy Liechter take the emotional decision, 16 years after they were discovered, to listen to audiotapes recorded by her mother about her experiences with mental illness. If you haven't seen them, you can follow the links to watch these films online.
I’ll Love You Till The End was made after the suicide of the director Bex Singleton’s father, Geoff, who took his own life when she was 29. Unlike the films named above, it does not focus on that single death, but instead brings in other voices to reflect on the people they have lost. When submitting her film to SMHAF, Singleton wrote: “I was very specific that I wanted to tell the story of bereavement by suicide through different people's perspectives, highlighting both the commonalities in people's experiences and that every bereavement is individual.”
It’s a deceptively simple documentary, people talking against a plain background, scarcely any music, their stories woven together through a shared experience. It is hugely accessible and strikes the perfect balance between dealing with the pain that will always be there and the warm memories and coping strategies needed for moving forward. What makes it so powerful is its intimacy, partly crafted by taking us behind the camera at the beginning and the end, as well as Singleton placing herself in front of it, along with everybody else, to tell her own story.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts on it and please join us for an online discussion with Bex Singleton on Thursday 14 May at 8.30pm.
Breathing Space is a free, confidential phone service, available to anyone in Scotland, providing listening, advice and information about mental health. You can speak to a Breathing Space advisor on 0800 83 85 87.
Samaritans volunteers are there to listen. The phone line is free to call and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can speak to a trained Samaritans volunteer on 116 123.