After visiting San Francisco and the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge, I talked with a few of my friends about the film, "The Bridge." I saw it this past weekend.
Given that the Golden Gate Bridge is the single place where the most people in the world come to commit suicide, "The Bridge" isn't what I expected it to be. It isn't a gripping political expose of the problems with Golden Gate Bridge policies (or lack thereof). Instead, filmmaker Eric Steel filmed the bridge for a whole year, where he captured many of the dozens of suicides that took place on camera, and then talked with some of the people that witnessed the plunge, or who were related to the deceased. Each person's story is different and together, they represent a patchwork of the mindset of a suicidal human being.
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Some of the stories are haunting, while others are told as nonchalantly as though they were any other anecdote. Every one of the victims approached death differently, as did every one of their families. The film is well-made from a documentary standpoint; despite its low budget, it doesn't look like it was made on a shoestring, and Steel is decidedly a good photographer. Perhaps the film's greatest strength is that in the end, it leaves you to decide completely how to feel about the deaths: compassionate, angry, or detached.
See it if you want to see into the eyes of someone who's about to kill themselves. But beware; it will leave you slightly different than when you started watching.