Monday, 20 August 2007

The Bridge

Over the weekend I saw The Bridge, a documentary about The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. More accurately it’s a documentary about the suicides that occur on the bridge.

There was some
controversy about how the film was made. The filmmakers set up numerous cameras at various points across the bridge and recorded all the activity there for a year. They told the authorities that they were making a film about a year in the life of the bridge, but didn't tell them they would be focusing solely on those people who chose to jump from there.

It captures many people jumping to their death and it’s quite a haunting and affecting film. It’s such a picturesque scene it can’t help but look great visually.

There are interviews with friends and family of those who jumped. There’s footage of someone who was rescued by a passer-by and there’s an interview with
Kevin Hines. Kevin jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge, but survived.

It offers no solutions for the people in the film wondering why their loved one chose to kill themselves. It also provides no suggestions for how San Francisco can stop the bridge staying the World’s no. 1 suicide hotspot.

Early on there’s a fascinating contrast that the location provides. One of the jumpers was found by two guys who were on the water
water kiting. They commented on the fact that they used the water as a celebration of life doing something they loved on it, while someone else used it to end their life.

It’s certainly not the easiest film to watch but it’s powerful, moving and totally compelling.

Here's a
review of the film from Paste magazine.

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