Filmmakers use hidden cameras to capture the various suicide attempts at the Golden Gate Bridge - the world's most popular suicide destination. Interviews with the victims' loved ones describe their lives and mental health.
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Dana Heinz Perry
Evan Scott Perry,
Dana Heinz Perry,
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People suffer largely unnoticed while the rest of the world goes about its business. This is a documentary exploration of the mythic beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge, the most popular suicide destination in the world, and those drawn by its call. Steel and his crew filmed the bridge during daylight hours from two separate locations for all of 2004, recording most of the two dozen deaths in that year (and preventing several others). They also taped interviews with friends, families and witnesses, who recount in sorrowful detail stories of struggles with depression, substance abuse and mental illness. Raises questions about suicide, mental illness and civic responsibility as well as the filmmaker's relationship to his fraught and complicated material.Written by
Steel interviewed relatives of the suicide victims, not informing them that he had footage of their loved ones' deaths. Later, he claimed that "the family members now, at this point, have seen the film, [and are] glad that they participated in it." See more »
Caroline Pressley - Gene's Friend, South San Francisco, CA:
I don't know why people kill themselves. And yet, it's a small step to empathize... to say... well, because I think we all experience moments of despair. That, ah, it would be so much easier not to do this anymore. But for most of us, the sun comes out, and then "Oh well, Tomorrow is another day". Why he chose the Bridge? I don't know. Maybe there was a certain amount of release from pain, by pain. Maybe he just wanted to fly one time.
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A Curiously Haunting Fusion of Awe-Inspired Mystery and Loss of Hope
If you have ever stood and looked at the Golden Gate Bridge, you know its undeniable effect on the psyche. It is an amazing and (for me) eerie structure.
"The Bridge" is a low budget documentary that delicately, yet honestly presents a common occurrence on the bridge: suicide jumpers. Actual footage of several jumpers is shown in the midst of interviews with loved ones trying to make sense out of the senseless.
Effectively, "The Bridge" is tied together by a single story of one individual whose footage is featured through-out the film to be concluded with a quite dramatic sequence.
What I enjoyed most was the interview and story of a young teen boy who decided he wanted to live as he was plummeting to the water below and miraculously survived.
One portion of the film that I would have preferred edited out was the mother and sister of one of the victims. Their interview became obnoxious as the sister kept interrupting the mother.
"The Bridge" dug into me and clenched a nerve. It will stay with me for some time.
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