Interview with director Robert Manciero

Learn more about Prescription: Suicide? from the film director himself.


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How did Prescription: Suicide? come into existence?

A close friend recently went through a divorce which wasn’t that easy as the couple had three teenage children. His ex-wife had a rather pro-medication stand while our friend was rigorously against medicating his young children, especially when it came to untested psychotropic drugs and behavior modifying medicine.

While doing research on the subject, we realized that this was a widespread problem, and that somebody ought to be doing something about it. Talking to friends about the issue, we realized that the “somebody” that should be doing something was us, and we concluded to create a film. When we spoke to more friends, they in turn offered their help and assistance. The end result is the film that we now have: Prescription: Suicide?

As fathers of children ourselves, we are proud to be able to actively work on this film.

How did you choose the families?

We did hundreds of hours of research on the Internet and talked to dozens of people affected by SSRIs (Selective Serotin Re-Uptake Inhibitors), interviewing them in person and by phone. After all, it isn’t an easy decision for a family to divulge their most intimate thoughts and then have them aired to a wide audience. Their willingness to do so was obviously one major factor. We also wanted to have diversity to be able to show that the problem does not only exist in one geographical area of the U.S. or only with one sort of family.

Did you use any hidden-camera-type of approach?

No. All interviews and filming were done with the full consent of everybody involved.

Why did you choose this unique approach for your documentary?

Prescription: Suicide? is not a documentary about any conflict or controversy. We’ll leave that aspect up to others. Our documentary is about the people and families and their lives. We are very pleased that the families who are portrayed in the film entrusted us with correctly and honestly portraying their very private views, interpersonal relationships, changes of views and values. It required a trust to be built with them which was hard because their trust in others had been so devastatingly destroyed.

Were the families paid for their participation in this documentary?

No.

Who helped in the production of the film?

The film was materialized with the help of a lot of friends who each contributed with their specialty. This was in form of research, writing, connections to recording studios, musical chores, you name it. Whenever we briefed someone about the subject matter of the documentary, they felt they wanted to help because each of them had a personal involvement with anti-depressant drugs either in their families or in their neighborhood. It is indeed a topic that touches upon everybody.

What about the distribution of the documentary?

We have entered Prescription: Suicide? into various film festivals and will continue to do so. Any distribution company or TV network which wants to air it is welcome to contact us to discuss the terms to do so.