Beachy Head Short documentary , 2002, 59 min.

'It's not a trip to paradise, it's a way out of hell.' Says Bill Hull, one of the few people who jumped off the awe-inspiring cliffs at Beachy Head and live to tell. In his classically structured film, Roel van Broekhoven portrays not only these 'lucky dogs', but also those who brought them back up and Beachy Head itself. The place is not only a popular attraction, particularly with seniors, but also deserves - as medical archivist John Surtees states - the dubious credit of being the most often used natural suicide spot in the world (an average of 17 suicides a year over de last two decades). The documentary provides insight in the jumpers' motives - varying from pangs of love to jet-black existential angst -, not everybody of whom is happy with his second chance. The stories about the casualness of the deed are horrifying ('I went for a last pint'), as is Hull's visit in a wheelchair to Beachy Head where right at that time, by a sinister coincidence, the body of a less fortunate suicide is picked up.

 

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