The 7 Best Documentaries About Suicide

Oct 4, 2023 | Best Of, Culture, Health

Suicide is a difficult topic that is often shrouded in stigma. However, there are documentary films that take an honest look at this issue and offer insight into its causes and consequences. From exploring real-life stories of suicide survivors to looking at the societal pressures of today, these documentaries about suicide provide a valuable window into understanding the complexities surrounding this mental health issue. Read on for a list of some of the best documentaries about suicide currently available. These films will draw you in and spark conversations about the topics they explore.

1. Suicide Forest in Japan

The Aokigahara Forest, which lies at the base of Mount Fuji, has become an iconic and haunting symbol in Japan. It is said to be the most popular destination for suicide attempts due to its seclusion and dense foliage. The forest gained attention with the novel Kuroi Jukai by Seicho Matsumoto, which tells of a young lover who takes their own life in the forest. This has caused a rate of up to 100 deaths per year, as people seek solace in this remote area. Despite its tragic history, the Aokigahara Forest remains a beautiful and mysterious place that is worth exploring.


2. Suicide And Me: What Drove My Dad To End It All?

In this intensely personal documentary, world-famous rapper Professor Green takes a deep dive into the reasons why suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45. Examining the complex factors that drove his father to end his own life, he travels around the country discovering how individuals and communities are tackling this pressing issue head-on. Through conversations with those affected by suicide, Professor Green emphasizes the urgency of addressing this topic in today’s world. Join him as he attempts to understand and process one of life’s great tragedies.


3. Land of rising suicide

The cliffs of Tojinbo have a heartbreaking history. On the beautiful Sea of Japan coast, these jagged rocks are more than just a breathtaking sight — for some, they become the last stop on their lives’ journey. Every year, thousands of people come to this place with one purpose in mind: suicide. It’s an astonishingly high number, even by global standards. But why is this the case in Japan? What drives so many people, both young and old, to take their own lives? It’s a question that has no easy answers.


4. SAVING 10,000 – Winning a War on Suicide in Japan

Japan has been struggling with one of the world’s highest suicide rates for many years now. Year after year, close to 30,000 individuals take their own lives in this country – a heartbreaking statistic that has compelled the Japanese government and corporations to strive towards finding ways to reduce it. The documentary “Saving 10,000” tells the story of this battle and its heroes. By showcasing real-life examples of individuals who have made a difference in addressing this crisis, the filmmakers aim to raise awareness and offer hope for those affected.


5. Japan’s Forest of Suicides

The tragic events of November 18th, 1978 will forever remain etched in our collective memories. Over 900 members of a religious cult took their own lives and two people, a US congressman and an investigating journalist, were murdered. This dark day was pieced together from dramatic reconstructions, archive footage, and testimony from survivors by the documentary series Jonestown Cult Suicides – The True Story. The documentary dives deep into the motivations of cult leader Jim Jones and explores what really happened on that fateful day. It speaks to us today, providing powerful insight into the inner workings of a cult, and its ability to brainwash and manipulate its members


6. Teen Depression and Suicide – “Out of the Darkness”

Depression and suicide are unfortunately becoming more common among teenagers in North Carolina. The rate of teen suicides has doubled over the last decade, making it now the second leading cause of death for children aged 10-17. In a survey conducted across the nation, teens reported that depression and anxiety were among the top problems they had to deal with. These problems are incredibly serious and often have devastating consequences. That’s why “Out of the Darkness” is an important documentary that looks into the causes and effects of depression and suicide in teens. It explores the stories of those who have suffered through these issues, allowing for a deeper understanding of what they go through on a daily basis.


7. Joe Rogan on Suicide and Anthony Bourdain

Joe Rogan dives deep with Ari Shaffir, discussing the topics of depression, suicide and how it relates to Anthony Bourdain. Hoping to gain a better understanding on why these tragedies happen, they delve into the psychological aspects of mental illness that can drive people to take their own lives. They discuss if there is any hope for those suffering, and how we can better help those in need. Rogan poses thought-provoking questions that shed light on the pressing issue of suicide – an epidemic that takes far too many innocent lives every year. A must-watch for anyone wanting to gain a better understanding of this heartbreaking issue.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B