Filmmakers Frank L Ferendo and Jordan Horowitz, last year, started shooting an extraordinary documentary on the man who had saved at least 300 people from committing suicide from one of the world’s most popular suicide spot, Nanjing’s Yangtze River Bridge. Chen Si, had been voluntarily spending every weekends for the last 13 years, patrolling across the bridge to stop people from committing suicide and provide them with mental support.
The documentary, titled ‘Angel of Nanjing’, by the Fourneyman Films, was recently used by NowThisNews, which made a short video, taking extracts from the documentary, and had got at least 12 million views.
According to a Xinhua report, Chen started visiting the bridge since 2003. The social volunteer started helping the mentally distressed after an old man he met on his arrival in the city, died out of depression following family problems. Since then, Chen had been travelling 25 kms to reach the bridge, where he patrols on bike or foot from 7:30 in the morning, trying to talk to disturbed people and stop them from taking the extreme step. He has also written his number on the bridge for times when he can’t be physically present to morally support someone.
Stating that most of the people trying to commit suicide are migrants, Chen claimed that he can help them better as he understands their feelings, as he had also witnessed similar mental disturbances when he left his hometown to work in a different city.