Directed by Helen Newman, 57 mins
When 15-year-old Mary Baker took her own life after a three-year battle with a serious mental illness, the stigma and silence that surrounds suicide compounded her family's grief and isolation.
Solstice documents the extraordinary story of Mary's parents, Annette and Stuart, as this personal tragedy propelled them into the public space to confront the challenges of mental illness and help to end the heartbreaking loneliness of those left behind when a person dies by suicide.
Stumbling on Mary's poetry after her death, her writings became Annette and Stuart's imprimatur for bravely speaking into the silence. They share their struggles and the challenges they faced as they prepared to bring a conversation around suicide into their home town's main square, through a unique collectively healing event, 'Winter Solstice'.
Unintentionally and unexpectedly they became firebrands for better mental health support and, as their determination grew, they reached out to anyone who would help them in their mission to create the change that may have saved their daughter.
Through intimate interviews, archival footage, verité events, animations and a nuanced, layered soundscape, Solstice draws together the threads of a world always shadowed by grief yet filled to the brim with determination and hope, seeking to unite, challenge and change how we respond to our collective mental health crisis now and into the future.
Solstice: on demand
We first showed Solstice at our 2022 Global Health Film Festival and we are screening it again at the Australia Global Health Film Festival on Friday 20 October
Solstice will be available for you to watch from Friday 20 October to Monday 23 October 2023. VOD tickets are on sale now at £4.99
All VOD tickets are free for Global Health Film members
The ten-hour time difference with Australia makes it challenging to schedule a Q&A with director Helen Newman right now - we will try to arrange a pre-recorded conversation in the next few days for you.