— by Baradwaj Rangan: What if suicide doesn’t arise from the desire to not live anymore? What if the impulse to kill oneself isn’t something existential, but instead, the result of a bacteria or virus?

What if “suicide” is like a cold or a fever, something that can be “cured” if scientists discover a vaccine for the micro-organism that causes one to think about this drastic step? This is a snatch of conversation we hear at the beginning of Isamu Hirabayashi’s Japanese-Finnish feature debut, Shell and Joint, which is playing at the Dharamshala International Film Festival. The woman who voices these thoughts is a hotel employee who has made multiple attempts on her life. She’s clearly thought about the subject a lot…

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