The Bridge

It’s a hauntingly beautiful to watch the time lapse photography as fingers of fog fold in and out of the long thin wisps of cable supporting The Bridge. The camera slows down and pulls back…there's a pause and then a splash.

I’ve never been to San Francisco* but I reckon that Golden Gate Bridge must be one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world. I watched a documentary DVD over the weekend called The Bridge. It details the stories of people who each year jump to their deaths from the bridge. It’s compelling viewing as you are drawn into the stories and events leading to each person’s death. We watch as people wander listlessly along the bridge in obvious distress but are ignored by passersby who seem unaffected by the events around them.

The film isn’t for the faint hearted with it’s enduring close up images of people plunging to their deaths. The Bridge also raises many interesting and deep ethical questions about the relationship between the film makers and the jumpers, (Some IMDB reviewers argue more could have been done more to prevent the deaths).

However I think this misses the point. In a world where so often it’s hard to understand why someone would want to kill themselves, I found it eye opening and powerful stuff. The film neither glorifies nor trivializes suicide but seeks to non judgmentally understand. In many cases we learn of jumpers, substance abuse, oppression, hurt, and depression that leads to their deaths. I found the film a reality check, a reminder that things in our world are not as they should be.

*Well that’s not quite true I’ve sat in the airport.



JK said... 10/07/2008 5:09 pm  

hey this sounds interesting, u get it from blockies or somefin?

mike said... 10/07/2008 5:33 pm  

Video City just down the road. I'm taking it back Friday.

Anonymous said... 10/07/2008 8:51 pm  

I love this bridge, especially that it is so often hidden by fog. It adds to the mystique. Unfortunately however I've also had the misfortune to see someone jump from there. It was from relatively afar, and whilst I accept there was nothing I could do about it, I have honestly never felt so hopeless. I'm glad this movie exists because these stories are so rarely told, but they are real and they really matter. We shouldn't ignore it.


Cabernet Leather said... 10/07/2008 11:08 pm  

Wow, full on. I can't remember who, but someone was telling me about how they saw someone trying to jump off the Tasman bridge. It seems a lot of city bridges share this dark, hidden history of suicide.

Jonny said... 10/07/2008 11:32 pm  

I ran across the Tasman yesterday. Being so close to death, it always feels like a spiritual experience, and not always pleasent.

Claire :) said... 11/10/2008 12:58 pm  

I'm intrigued by Golden Gate. One of my friends visited a couple of years ago. He said there's a lifeline phone in the middle of the bridge. Scary. I wonder if it ever works?

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