Suicide in Hollywood films isn’t a new idea. In fact, many films have touched on or featured the subject, though a new documentary looks to shed light on a struggle that often seems to be overlooked, even amongst fellow actors.
Face of Darkness is a documentary that will focus on two mental health specialists and also brings attention to the rise in suicides in the Black community, especially among Black males.
According to information from the American Association of Suicidology, though Black females may be more likely to attempt suicide, Black males have a higher rate of completion. Suicide is also listed as one of top ten reasons of male deaths in the United States.*
Face of Darkness filmmaker Kenneth Nelson attributes these types of stats to the stigma in the Black community surrounding issues of mental health.
“As an African American male, I was taught that a man could not express his feelings and never to cry,” Nelson said via press release. “There is a stigma in my community that prevents males from sharing emotions, hugging or admitting that we are afraid.”
With this documentary, hopefully the doors will be opened for people who are struggling to talk, which mental health advocate Terrie Williams says is one of the most important tools for survival.
“The reality is, if you don’t go and talk to someone, you will die,” Williams said in a phone interview. The licensed psychotherapist, who has her own public relations firm, also appears in the film.
“It may be a slow death, but you will die. You will not be all that God intended you to be.”
The documentary is currently in pre-production and is trying to raise $87,000 over the next month via an Indiegogo campaign.
*The stats reported from both the American Association of Suicidology and the CDC are from the mid 2000s. As I was told by one of the sources I spoke to for a different story, often reports feature numbers that are years old because it takes a while to bring in data. Hopefully, that is the cause and not an oversight on my part.