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Last spring, in the archives of the Fondation Luigi Micheletti in Brescia, a highly unexpected and equally significant discovery was made - an unknown, unreleased documentary film by Ermanno Olmi was stored in four boxes which had simply been marked T.S.
The title: Il tentato suicidio nell'adolescenza (T.S. Giovanile). The year: 1968. The card at the start of the film bore the brand name of the multinational pharmaceutical company, Sandoz, suggesting that the film had probably been a commission on the sensitive subject of teenage suicide, in what was to be a crucial year in the history of young people.
The subject of the documentary is the pioneering years of an emergency psychiatric department in the out-patients’ clinic of a hospital in Milan. An emergency wing dedicated to people with suicidal tendencies with a worryingly high number of young people. The film includes interviews, statistics and personal experiences and the editing, rhythm, empathy and choice of faces and facial expressions already bear Olmi’s unmistakeable hallmark.