Fillmmaker Aditya Kripalani’s film, Not Today is based on suicide prevention, a subject which he says is close to his heart.
“My wife (Sweta Chhabria , producer) and I have lost people to suicide and we wanted to make a film about suicide prevention,” shares Kripalani.
On World Suicide Prevention Day, the filmmaker does have a special message for all. “Look out for the signs of depression in those around you. Sudden dramatic changes of sleeping patterns, listlessness, not being able to be happy and light at all anymore, being unaffected by emotion as one used to, dramatic changes in eating patterns, and to reach out to anyone one suspects of being depressed and talk to them. Putting the onus on them is a bit silly. I feel,” he explains.
The film stars Harsh Chhaya and Rucha Inamdar and has traveled to festival across the world including UK Asian Film Festival, – Indian Film Festival of Stuttgart and Ottawa Indian Film festival. Kripalani reveals that while putting together the film they visited suicide prevention centers in Mumbai and realized that they are grossly underfunded.
“They don’t even have the money to have separate cubicles for counselors. People sit around a large table and whisper into their own phones, unlike any other country. It made us feel even more strongly for this subject. Beyond that, it also becomes a film about the loneliness of big cities, where there is incessant noise but no peace, incessant company but less love. Big cities, amid the din, can be very lonely places for a lot of people,” he says.
Last year when Sushant Singh Rajput and a few other actors died by suicide everyone started talking about the subject as well as about mental health. But somehow the conversation has lost steam now.
So do we as a society we suffer from amnesia when it comes to such a subject?
“We don’t suffer from amnesia… I wish we’d used the chance to talk enough about depression and suicide. We started to. And then it became a completely different story and everyone began to follow that instead. So I feel as a society we lost a chance to talk about the real issue of suicide. I really wish we had done justice to those we lost by helping spread word about depression and suicide,” he concludes.