The Bridge


While listening to The Observer film podcast, the end interview with a director called Eric Steele jumped to my attention. He has made a documentary film about sucide jumpers from the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. Basically, they placed cameras watching the bridge over one year watching what occured there. It seems like the most fascinating idea for a documentary and one that I am looking forward to seeing in an eerie way. There is interesting discussion and review of the film on Metroblogging.

Then, the first suicide — the entire theater gasped when an average looking guy hopped up on the orange railing, sat for a minute, and loped off to splash into the water. Next, they interviewed local kite surfers who were there in the water below at that minute, and their mental process around realization, then action, and living with what they saw and how they reacted. Because this film was ultimately just as much about the people surviving (as in those left behind), as it was about the people who killed themselves. A lot of questions were raised, some were not answered. Parents talked about knowing it would happen; then we see the son leap and sail down into the water like a toy. The more the parents and friends spoke, it was easy to see that everyone in the film is really doing the best they can to live with all these unanswered questions. But I think perhaps the biggest unanswered question is why, when they filmed for a continuous year, did only two bystanders lift a finger to stop someone from jumping.