DAVID reviews

20 November 2017

The Samaritans: The importance of kindness.

by Jason Stone


The Samaritans: “Small Talk Saves Lives” - 1 min 34s

This film was created by The Samaritans and Network Rail to persuade us to look out for one another and offer reassurance about the value of intervening if we think someone looks troubled. It's a superbly-judged piece of work. Director Matt Hopkins has shown great restraint giving the subject matter the gravity it deserves and - in doing so - has made a film which stands a chance of making a real difference.

This idea addresses the central dilemma we face when we recognise someone is distressed: whether we should say something to them. While it can never be unequivocally stated that the answer to this question is 'yes', this film offers a convincing argument that we should. And the source for this couldn't be more authoritative: Sarah Wilson uses the station's PA system to describe how an approach from a stranger when she was feeling suicidal proved to be exactly the intervention she needed.

Among the many misconceptions about suicide is the idea that it always comes from a deep-seated feeling which has an unstoppable momentum. In fact, it's been demonstrated repeatedly that the sense of despair felt by those going through these crises can often be interrupted by a kindly intervention. This is why it's so important to look out for one another and - as this film so poignantly demonstrates - step in and ask someone if they're all right whenever it looks as though they might not be.


Cinematography: Charlie Herranz
1st AC / Focus Puller: Pete Blakemore
Camera Team: Anca Badita
DIT: Jesse Lewis-Reece
Sound Recordist: Robin Gerrard
Gaffer: David Nye
Spark: John Antill
Production Design: Elizabeth Melinak
Art Department: Luke Shepherd
Colourist: Caroline Morin @ Cheat
Sound Designer: James Locke-Hart
Thanks To: Amy Jones / Daniel Stoker (Runners)
David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com