“The Bridge” to the after life

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I just watched The Bridge last night and found it very revealing and disturbing. It is a documentary about the Golden Gate Bridge that showed the dark side of the beautiful structure that to many of us is a tourist attraction. Not only is the bridge a magnet for out of town visitors, but also for those who are intent on ending their lives. The Golden Gate Bridge has the highest number of suicides of any destination on earth. In the year the film was made, there were 24 suicides alone.

Much of the movie was about the people who committed suicide, through their friends and families’ voices. This is what I found very heart breaking – the frustration and sadness, the utter despair of knowing that there was nothing that the families could do to stop their loved ones from killing themselves, short of having them locked up forever. Many of them had heart to heart talks about death with their loved ones, about the ending of their fears and torment. I found these people to be so brave to reveal their stories in the film. I felt they wanted so much for people to understand and also were sorting it out themselves as they spoke to the camera.

I felt guilty and yet very intrigued by seeing what the camera person was seeing. How would I feel if I sat all day for a year with a long lens trailing back and forth on the span over the water, waiting for some one to jump? I would really recommend watching the making of the film in the extras section on the DVD. I had a lot of respect for the film makers and camera people after hearing their experiences. During the filming they were able to save a couple of people from falling to their deaths by calling security in time to intervene.

Would I recommend this film? I would because it gives the viewer a window into a world one would most likely not experience. The film was well done and beautifully shot. I did find it disturbing though and did not sleep well after viewing it.

The Bridge, 2006, Director Eric Steel

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