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At my last committee meeting, my every-other meeting Film Forum agenda item showcased an excerpt from an important film titled “Nothing Against Life.” I think it’s an important film because it’s subject matter is suicide. The filmmakers are Julio Ramirez and Carl Adelson and they made their film here in their hometown, Seattle. (the link to their presentation should be posted on my Film Forum webiste soon)
While the authors of Nothing Against Life thoroughly researched the subject of suicide in order to write their story, their film is an artistic statement and is not meant to be diagnostic. They intend their film to help create a space for dialogue and reflection on suicide while hoping it encourages people to consult a physician or other trusted healthcare provider if they or someone they care for have questions about suicide and mental health.
Their story centers on four disparate characters intertwined while navigating along the razor’s edge of life. As these four strangers cross paths, they must look life in the face and make the most important decision they have ever made: to embrace their reality and all the contradictions this demands, or to simply put their lives away.
There is a suicide every 18 minutes in the United States, one every 30 seconds in the world.
Writer, director, producer Julio Ramírez recounts laying on a hospital bed fighting for his life several years ago watching the news of a woman sitting on the edge of a highway bridge attempting to jump. “Jump, bitch, jump!”, shouted one of several drivers who called for the woman to end her life so that they could move on with their day. The woman jumped into the 160-foot empty space below, hit the water, and miraculously survived.
Ramírez goes on to say “Immersed in a drugged state at the hospital, I felt confused about what I was watching on the news, but also felt deeply connected to the stranger sitting on the edge of that bridge. The paradox of our realities during a time of severe crisis made a deep impact in my life, and drew me to learn more about suicide and mental health. I realized that for whatever reason I had erased memories from my past linked to this misunderstood subject. I never knew what happened to the woman after she was rescued, but suicide for me became all of a sudden an utterly present topic. I left the hospital, recovered, and begun the process of bringing to life my first feature film, ‘Nothing Against Life.’”
Ramírez completed a combined graduate program in Social Communications, Journalism and Marketing, starting at Pontifical Javeriana University in Bogotá, and earning his degree from the European Institute of Communications in Milan and Rome. He attended the screenwriting program at TheFilmSchool, the Hands On Filmmaking program at the Seattle Film Institute, and a three-year acting program at Freehold Laboratory in Seattle. Julio’s first experience in the film industry was as PR assistant and assistant to the Co-Producer of Oedipus Major, a movie based on a script by Gabriel García Marquez. Nothing Against Life is his first feature film.
Cinematographer and producer Carl Adelson has traveled the world experimenting with still photography and design, which eventually lead him to cinematography. He studied Psychology at The University of Oregon, and Film and Video Production in Seattle, earning his Bachelors degree in Digital Filmmaking with a heavy focus on Cinematography. Carl is the Cinematographer and co-Producer for Paradigma Productions (“NWIRP Stories: Immigrant Rights are Human Rights”, “Leadership and Public Policy with US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, and Egil Krogh, Official of the Richard Nixon administration).
The film includes over 50 local actors and was shot in well-known Seattle locations such as Saint Mark’s Cathedral, the University of Washington’s Red Square, the Kay Bullitt residence, the Auld Family residence, Elliott Bay Bookstore, Snoqualmie Falls, and in Eastlake houseboats.
Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum served as fiscal sponsor, Dorothy Bullitt was the Executive Producer, and sponsors included the University of Washington and the Evans School of Public Affairs.
I urge you to check out the “Nothing Against Life” website for more information on the film, as well as the filmmakers’ list of nation-wide suicide prevention resources.
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