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The Bridge (2006)

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7/10: Bad Voyeurism
Thursday, October 26, 2006

Surely the point of any documentary of merit is to reveal the hidden or disguised truth behind it's subject. The question this film poses on false advertising is why so many suicides seek out The Golden Gate Bridge for their final demise. We certainly see the suicides. We live through the film with a succession of suicide jumpers, filmed either full on or subverted from the grandeur of the bridge to what looks like a pin dropping with a quiet splash. A number of friends, relatives participate in disclosing the sad, usually mentally ill backgrounds of the dead. There is one young guy who is 24 featured. He survived the jump, one of very, very few ever to have done so. From the moment he left those famous red rails he wanted to survive, he said. He managed to turn his body and enter feet first, 250ft drop, 5 secs, 120mph, he's underwater and he's thinking ' Am...

7/10: Sad portrait of lives looking to end is powerful at first then strangely becomes almost matter of fact as the film loses its way and stretches things too far
Sunday, October 14, 2007

The bridge is the story of the Golden Gate Bridge and the people who jump from it. Filmmakers filmed the bridge for a year filming people who jumped, those who tried and those who goofed off and made their heart stop when they thought they might.(Yes they did call the police) Intercut with the footage are interviews with the survivors of those who jumped, as well as one man who stopped a young lady from jumping and a young man who survived.Sad, maudlin and a trip to a place that many off us who have considered see what was on the other side may have visited, this is a good little film that makes you think about what it means to be alive and what would make you want to stop being so. There are no revelations, just of portraits of people who were loved who needed something else. The suicides are at first shocking but then just...

4/10: Superficial take on suicide
Monday, June 18, 2007

The premise of this movie is simple: cameras recorded people walking on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, for a whole year. Some of those people committed suicide by jumping off the bridge and their last moments were recorded on film. Relatives and friends of some of the jumpers were interviewed. One survivor also gives his testimony. That's "The Bridge" in a nutshell.Aside from the morbid fascination of watching people plummet to their deaths and the dramatic jump at the end, this movie really doesn't add much to the discussion about suicide. The testimonials don't say anything that common sense wouldn't already let you know. There is no analysis whatsoever of the phenomenon and they tackle the names of the jumpers and a few (rushed) statistics at the end of the movie because the movie itself doesn't elucidate you about anything. It basically says that a) these people had personal demons of their own...

7/10: Heart-wrenching
Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I enjoyed this documentary if 'enjoy' is the right word. Wikipedia indicates some misgivings around the way those involved were handled, which is worth checking out. As documentaries go, the power of The Bridge is not so much in the storytelling, but in the words of those who have lost loved ones to The Bridge. As you'd expect, some interviews leave you empathising with those left behind, some with those who are gone, and some frustrate you with the missed opportunities to make a difference. Gene Sprague's godmother is the wise soul of the documentary and you'll be knocked sideways by her insight, understanding, love and acceptance. One interview, with a lady who gave her friend her antidepressants to try, was particularly heart-rending in that she was clearly still so distraught with what happened to her friend and my heart really went out to her. I guess in summary my review of The Bridge depends on...

9/10: Brilliant film that deals with people, not statistics
Monday, June 4, 2007

This is the best doco I've seen in years. I know there was controversy surrounding it when it was released, but I don't understand why. The film-maker has managed to paint a 3-dimensional portrait of each and every jumper whose last moments he captured. Interviews with friends and relatives send home the message that no one exists in a vacuum: suicide is not just something a person can do, because it touches on the lives of everyone around them. No one is just a guy who's chosen to jump off abridge: he's a brother, a friend, a son, a lover, a neighbor, etc. It is interesting, too, to hear family and friends of those who chose to jump talking about how they knew something bad would happen, or that suicide had been talked about for a long time. Itsends home the message that, at the end of the day, none of us has the...

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