Life Span

I caught wind of this while driving across the Golden Gate bridge yesterday morning. My wife related having heard a discussion on KGO regarding a film being screened at the San Francisco International Film Festival, titled ‘The Bridge’. There’s a good deal of controversy over it, because it’s a documentary about suicides on the Golden Gate Bridge, and it includes scenes culled from footage shot over an entire year, including several actual suicides. Much of the controversy is over the subject matter, the footage, and also the deceptive manner in which they got access to film for a full year.

I’m not sure how i feel about this.

I love a good documentary. Especially one that inspires, makes me think, or in some cases, forces my awareness to things i don’t necessarily want to know about, but ultimately benefit from knowing. In this case, although we ‘know’ these things happen, I didn’t know how often, and just reading about this film will make me more inclined to rush and pull back anybody i might see risking, or taking, their lives. This film appears to be focused on awareness and understanding, focused on 6 incidents and interviews with family, friends and relations, trying to understand, reasons, cope and accept the act. In some sense, the concepts reminds me a bit of the ‘Hold On’ video by ‘Good Charlotte’.

To their credit, the filmmakers did intervene and prevent many attempts, but given the dynamics of the location and conditions, clearly, that’s not something they could consistently achieve. And in the year of 2004, 24 people leapt from the bridge.

Like I said, i’m not sure how I feel about this one. I might be inclined to see it, because it will smack me in the face and make me aware of the suffering, despair and desperation of others. That’s overwhelmingly depressing, but turning away from it because it’s unpleasant does nothing to help me become educated and potentially more aware.

What do you think? Read this review first, and if you care to, you can watch the trailer as well. And if you’ve not seen it, watch the ‘Hold On’ video by ‘Good Charlotte’.


Written by gsm

10/05/2006 at 11:00 pm

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