(Courtesy of boxoffice.hotdocs.ca)
The RiverRun Film Festival is a huge event that happens once a year and proves to be the showing ground to many new films, including the heart touching documentary Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi. This documentary follows the story of the Tripathi family in their struggle to find Sunil Tripathi, the son of the family that vanished one day and never returned. During the time that he vanished, the Boston bombings happened and Tripathi ended up being called a suspect by the media, even though there was no proof against him.
This movie shows the positive and negative effects of social media and how it affects a family that only wants to find their missing family member. Regarding the positives and negatives of social media, Ryan Davies (’16) said, “The movie shows these effects really well and can improve lives in the future if people learn from this event.”
Even the director of the documentary, Neal Broffman, said that the point of the film was to “raise awareness around depression,” which is sadly a widespread problem in the world to this day. Since Broffman was a family friend of the Tripathi family, it was only right for him to help them out during their time in need. Broffman was hit with all the backlash from the media during this horrible time also due to him helping them make a video to go on their Facebook page.
By the end of the film, they reveal that Sunil Tripathi was found in the river by his home and that he had committed suicide due to depression that he had felt prior to his death. Davies said, “people should be more aware because it would be less likely for something like this to happen again.” He said this due to the fact that not everyone knows about the danger of depression and how it doesn’t affect just the person suffering from it, but also the people around them.
No more people need to die from depression, deaths which could have been prevented if more support and was offered and there wasn’t a negative stigma surrounding mental illness. These people who get hurt just need to know that there are people who love them.