This article examines the portrayal of suicide in two films by Marco Bellocchio, Il regista di matrimoni (2006) and Sorelle Mai (2010). I first suggest that voluntary death represents in Bellocchio's work an ‘exit strategy' that allows his characters to overcome an existential and ideological deadlock. I then turn to the implications of such a radical gesture, situating it within the millennia-old debates surrounding the topic of suicide. Finally, I examine the two case studies, teasing out their cultural, social, and political significance. In Il regista di matrimoni, the character's suicide is targeted at disrupting the clientelist system governing Italian cultural life. In Sorelle Mai, the suicidal character opts instead for a spectacular self-sacrifice, for an ending that is also a return to his origins. Overall, in Bellocchio’s films, suicide comes to be a locus of tension and resolution, a marriage of opposite impulses marked by ambiguity and undecidability.