Jay Rosenblatt’s new documentary is all about suicide. Suicide as a way out of a senseless life; suicide as the result of deep depression; suicide as an inexplicable bolt from the blue. The technique he uses is a familiar one: a collage of black-and-white found footage accompanied by a subtle soundtrack and voice-over. In this case, the voice-over is a male voice reading aloud poignant excerpts from the diary of a depressed man: ‘I do not fear death. I fear the empty hours of life that would otherwise lie ahead. A life that seems to me the worst fate for a person on this earth.’ These diary excerpts alternate with a female voice, which provides a historical perspective on the phenomenon of suicide that runs parallel to the images. She talks about depression, harakiri, about who was the first person to jump from the Golden Gate Bridge. She relates how Ernest Hemingway committed suicide, followed by four members of his family. She tells us how a fatal leap by a Japanese girl into a volcano in Oshima signaled both a new trend and the birth of a tourist destination.
Jay Rosenblatt is an internationally recognized artist who has been working as an independent filmmaker since 1980 and has completed over twenty-five films. His work explores our emotional and psychological cores. They are personal in their content yet universal in their appeal. His films have received over 100 awards and have screened throughout the world. Eight of his films have been at the Sundance Film Festival and several of his films have shown on HBO/Cinemax, the Independent Film Channel and the Sundance Channel. ZagrebDox screened many of his films in International Competition, My Best Dox, and in the author's retrospective in 2012, when Rosenblatt held a masterclass.
The Darkness of Day
2009, 26', color, video
Jeff Greenwald, Jay Rosenblatt
Erik Ian Walker