By: Vernon Nickerson
Linda G. Mills’ gem of a short film, “Better To Live” had its World Premiere at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. Plus it was THE OFFICIAL SELECTION of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.
“Better To Live” showcases the “heartbeat” of New York City- its creative young adults – even as it provocatively highlights how they speak out to their peers about the complex issues of coming out, anxiety, cutting and suicide. In 18 minutes, this tasty morsel of a film follows a group of New York University (NYU) drama majors and their mentors as they team up to create the aptly titled “Reality Show” for 5000 freshmen at Madison Square Garden.
Watching “Better to Live”, you want to know more about each of the creative players’ personal journeys because you get to sample their music, drama, comedy and dance focused on a target audience of 5000 NYU freshmen. The original “Reality Show” was born out of the tragic suicides of 7 NYU students in a 12 month period in the 2002-2003 academic year. Each of the student-artists deftly and poignantly draw us into their world to reveal the fine line between raising the consciousness of its’ young audience and accurately depicting their audience’s daily struggles with fitting in with their peers and the creative crucible that has always been New York City. As with all of the most compelling films, generations of older and younger viewers are drawn in because they can directly relate to multiple elements of the stories that are told powerfully and briefly. Take someone you love and go see this film!