Sunday, January 13, 2008

when i thought reasons are the only things that matter

i remembered shortbus, an american indie film that i have seen before, that magnificently tackled the wide diversity of new yorkers' sexual life. but today, i have decided to opt away from discussing the sexual part of it and try discussing something that was also used as an element of the film--- suicide.suicide would probably be the most common issue that we encounter in our everyday life. we hear news about somebody committing it due to extreme poverty, hopelessness, broken relationship, traumatic experiences and even for political/ideological reasons (such as suicide bombers). but nonetheless, we tend to just accept these reasons without going into the deep roots of it.
if my memory serves me right, i knew atleast three people who attempted to commit suicide. one of which was successful, she was actually my land lady's daughter when i was in college. although i never talked to her, i knew her as a very reserved person. i seldom see her talking to somebody or open her lips, thats how extreme she was. i thought she was just an introvert but not that troubled. so me and my roomates were just surprised when we heard our land lady screaming and crying at the top of her head one morning. we thought we slept again without fixing the beer bottles we drank last night. but when we went out of our room, we were surprised to see that neighbors were swarming their door. then a body covered in white sheets was being brought out of the house. then inside a van.
one of our housemates who woke up earlier than the rest of us, informed us that rhea (our landlady' daugther) just hanged herself inside her room. there was a diary that was recovered at the top of her television next to her body. it noted there her turmoil about how everybody around her treated her and her lover.
later we learned that a year back, her family discovered that she was a lesbian and has a woman lover. as expected, her family forced her to break up with her lover. but rhea stood on her ground and tried to let her family understand. when she have no other option she decided to run away. they've lived in together for 3 months. then her family asked her to go back home. although not accepted, her family have just tolerated the fact that there daughter was a lesbian. thus, she returned.
but what rhea didn't know was, it was not only her family that had the same sentiment against her and her lover. she was wrong when she taught that if there would be people that would understand her and her lover among everybody else, it would be her friends---there friends. since rhea and her lover came from the same circle of peers. rhea wasn't able to handle these fact.
the night before she hanged herself, she went out with her lover and friends. everybody claimed that they never saw rhea that happy that night. she was laughing, throwing jokes and dancing the entire time. it was as if rhea was a different person. but never they realized that would be the last time they will see her.nobody saw rhea's lover visiting her remains during the entire wake and even at her burial. somebody informed our land lady that she went abroad earlier as expected. from that point, no one ever heard from her again.

basically, the issue of suicide has always something that interests me. (but don't get me wrong, i know for sure that i am not suicidal nor have the tendencies to commit it.) it interests me in such a way that i kept on asking myself what could actually drive a person to commit suicide? is it just because of hopelessness? is it because of untolerable pain or emotional turmoil? is it because of extreme devotion or commitiment into something or someone? or is it all that matters?these questions could have already been answered by emile durkheim's study about suicide which is composed of four kinds: egoistic, altruistic, anomic and fatalistic. (for reference)
but i tend to try understanding it in a different perspective. then came the film shortbus.

shortbus was somehow the same as the story of rhea. one of the stories there were about two gay lovers that has the same name, jamie.
the first jamie was a child actor before of a low rated tv show about a black couple who adopted a white kid that keeps on claiming his also black but only albino. the adopted white kid was him. while the second jamie, who went on using james (to avoid conbfusion), was a former hooker and junkie. he recalls those times as the most rotten experiences of his life, where everybody was treating him like shit. until he met jamie.
jamie was the dominant one. while james was the passive. what was interesting about james was he always has his camera with him. in the story nobody exactly knew what james was actually filming. until the later part of the movie. he was actually making his suicide movie for jamie.

he wanted jamie to know that if ever he will die, jamie shouldn't blame himself: that it was his own personal decision. james was experiencing extreme depression that time. a type of depression that was not anchored to any negativities of his outside environment or his past. infact, james was surrounded with different people who loves, adores and accepted him for who he was. it was depression that was coming in him--- inside of him. this made him numb to feel those 'so much' love that was being given to him by his lover (/s you'll know why once you've watch the film) and friends.
for me, the implicit reason for this was james wanted to end his life that way. he didn't want anything else the way he had it before. basically he wanted a life that have lived happily ever after like most of us would also wanted. that if people would be asked about him, james wanted them to remember him the last time they saw him --- in the happiest moment of his life. for indeed, first impression isn't lasting.
probably, this is the common thing for both of the stories above (aside from both were about homosexual partners), for people who commit suicide to see them by other people on their happiest state. an act that would represent a celebration of the lifetime that was given to them. a moment to be remembered by everybody they knew. i am no supporter nor against people who decides to commit suicide on their own free will. but in writing this, i have realized that reasons for commiting suicide should not be the only thing that we need to understand. sometimes even the ends or the purpose of it matters.
pictures are from the stars and scenes of the film, shortbus.


FerBert said...

napanood ko to last year.. frontal kung frontal talaga... yun lang...


I havent watch this film yet..

anw, suicide.. it's something that people I care will hopefully never entertain.

jericho said...

escapism, bravery, cowardice, craziness, romantic ... at the end of it, it is just sad.

gerrycho said...

most suicidal persons lost that sense of purpose, and thus made them think if would make no difference if they live or die...

the first time i would laugh in a funeral is when i get see someone who would commit suicide because he is "curious"...

"you can die anytime, but it takes courage to live"
-- rorouni kenshin

Anino said...

What about suicide and homosexuality?

Wanderer, I saw "THE PROMISE" last night.As usual like what other Chinese movies are,the cinematography is superb!

It stars Jang Dong Gun, Cecilia Cheung and Nicholas Tse, who are all good actors. Jang Dong is the best.

wanderingcommuter said...

ferbert: one unique thing about this film is, the sex scenes are not movie sex. but reala nd actual sex talaga. naimpressed ako sa mga artists.

kris jasper: oo nga eh. it would be selfish though. but all we could do its let them realize and understand the wonders of living.

jericho: very well said...can't think of any other words to describe than these words that you have said.

gerrycho and anino: purpose could be one factor but i have realized there are lot of other things to be considered. ie. lost of any other options

try watching starcrossed, i have posted it previously. it is categorized under shortfilms.

thesocialcritic said...

frontal daw oh .. mahanap nga yan. hahaha..

i have tried committing suicide. but then, whenever i have restored my sanity, i just thought i am too stupid to die.

try reading veronika decides to die. its awesome.

wanderingcommuter said...

thesocialcritic: oo nga daw eh. my friends are recomending the book as well. though i am still trying to find time reading it.

Anonymous said...

suicide is a very stupid thing to do.

life is precious, you only have one......

Anino said...

I got this from tne movie "Stay"
"There is too much beauty to quit"

Anonymous said...

Suicide. I'm suicidal! Although I really do not have the guts to do it. Maybe if someone would do it with me then I would do it.

wanderingcommuter said...

reigh: malay mo buddhist siya at naniniwala sa reincarnation. hehehe. just kidding.

anino: whats the film about?

geno: mass suicide? quite interesting. hehehe.

angelo said...

saan po ba may magandang bilihan ng indie films?

wanderingcommuter said...

angelo: sorry dude. honestly, i have no place specific. most of the time i just go to quiapo or check out a video store and the next thing i knew i bumped myself into a nice film.


Anino said...

I like "Stay", though it got bad reviews from critics for being convoluted.The visuals will stun you.

The movie tells a story of a psychiatrist (Ewan) trying to stop a young man from commiting suicide.On the process, reality-shattering events start to melt his rational thoughts.

I, myself didn't even understand the denouement.Hahaha!