In December 2018 we chose a movie for you:
It’s a Wonderful Life
Directed by: Frank Capra
Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
Running time: 131 minutes
The film is considered one of the most loved films in American cinema, and has become traditional viewing during the Christmas season.
Plot: it’s an American Christmas fantasy comedy-drama film, based on the short story and booklet The Greatest Gift (Philip Van Doren Stern, 1939). The story is about George Bailey who is thinking about suicide on Christmas Eve (1945); in Heaven, Clarence, is assigned to become George’s guardian angel. Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched, and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be if he had never been born, offering him the greatest Christmas gift.
The story reminds us about Mozart’s Papageno. In Singspiel, Papageno tries to attempt suicide, but he is saved by the three child-spirits: they remind him the magic power of the bells he was gifted at the start of the story (Click HERE to know more about Papageno). In suicide prevention the Papageno effect is the positive role that media can play in order to prevent suicide, in contrast with the Werther effect. Recently, many media recommendations have been implemented worldwide to foster suicide prevention and improve the quality of media reporting about suicide. Movies, TV-series, newspapers, websites and other media resources may help vulnerable people to find positive qualities, coping strategies to face off difficult moments and, as is suggested in the literature, this effect is most pronounced in an audience with increased vulnerability to suicide.
“Media can make a very relevant contribution to suicide prevention by minimising sensationalist reporting, and maximising reporting on how to cope with suicidality and adverse circumstances”.