The Bridge (2006)

The Bridge
In 2004, 23 people jumped to their death, from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Eric Steel and his camera crew filmed the bridge, 24/7 for an entire year and captured each of these suicides on film. Steel, took the footage and made a documentary film called The Bridge (2006).

Tonight I went to the Canadian premiere of The Bridge at the Bloor Cinema in Toronto (part of Hot Docs film festival). This film is fascinating.

Yes, there is a lot of footage of people jumping off the bridge and it is unsettling to watch. But, there are some compelling interviews with family and friends of the people that commit suicide. Why did they jump? Were there many warning signs? Could their suicides have been prevented?

In the film, there is an incredible account from one young man that survived a jump off the bridge in 2000. He landed on his feet when he hit the water at 120 km/hour and broke his back. Before he jumped he was crying and confused. A German tourist approached him and instead of asking if he was okay, she asked him if he would take her picture!

A lot of the pedestrian traffic on the bridge simply watch as people climb over the railing and jump to their death. Occasionally the police arrive in time to talk people out of jumping or arrest them for attempting to jump.

I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen while watching The Bridge. I felt like I became one of the camera operators, constantly scanning the pedestrian traffic, wondering who might be at the end of their rope.

People that you thought might jump, don’t. A man is shown laughing and talking on his cell phone. Without warning he quickly finishes his call, puts down his phone, climbs over the railing and jumps to his death. Why?

Director, Eric Steel was at the film and held a very interesting Q&A. He’s taken a lot of criticism for filming the suicides. What most people don’t know is that he and his film crew prevented 6 people from jumping off the bridge.

Whenever they suspected someone might jump, they called the police. Unfotunately 23 people gave little to no warning that they were about to jump. ****

Official film website
Movie trailer

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Posted in Movie Reviews at 11:38 PM