The Bridge (2006) is a chilling documentary directed by Eric Steel. The film dissects the stories of several recorded jumpers who plunged to their death off of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge. A little (not so) fun fact about this bridge is that it’s the most popular suicide destination in the world. According to Wikipedia the suicide count by 2005 exceeded 1,200 with an average of one jumper every 15 days (and that’s just the count for the bodies they find and the people who were witnessed jumping) . This film attempts to explore a minute part of this long standing and morbid tradition.
There really is no other word for this film, other than chilling. It’s deeply haunting and yet your curiosity drives you to watch it all the way through. The film is constructed with the jumpers on the bridge the day of their death and their jump into the freezing water below. This shocking footage is arranged around interviews of the loved ones they left behind and this proves to be the most powerful footage of the film. To be honest, it was hard to remember that the footage of these people jumping and hitting the water are images of people dying right in front of us. These people do not live and we know that, yet it’s hard to understand that, that is exactly what we are seeing. It’s almost unbelievable seeing as this kind of footage is nearly impossible to get with out recording constantly every day for months on end. (which I believe they did).
As I watched this, I felt like there was almost a disconnect between reality and this film. Of course this footage is real. However modern film has desensitized us to the gore and violence we see in films because we know they aren’t real and it’s very hard to loose this feeling while watching this film.
Overall, the premise and individual stories are incredible, but it got a little old. I mean, this film is definitely not a feel-good film and should only be watched when you’re in the mood for this kind of movie.