The Bridge Review

The Bridge is a documentary that debuted In America on October 27, 2006. It is based on the suicide epidemic in America but focuses solely on the famous suicide spot, the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge, which is located in San Francisco California, is nearly 1.7 miles in length. 

The film crew shows us the happenings around the bridge during 2004. The crew intervened on several suicide attempts, but others were not so fortunate. Some suicide victims were not caught on camera at all, at those times you could see the coast guard, far below, searching for the bodies.

Some jumpers did exactly what they had intended to do all along; without warning and without hesitation. While others reluctantly climbed over the rail, only to change their minds. There were times during the year of filming where bystanders would interpose in a last minute attempt to save a poor lost soul, in these cases a police officer would appear and take the victim away in his cruiser. Leaving one wondering what became of them.

The most appealing case of suicide was when Gene Sprague first appeared on the bridge. He casually paced the bridge for nearly ninety-four minutes. Then he scaled the railing, sat down, then stood up, turned around, and slowly leaned backwards, landing into the water four seconds later.

We are introduced to some of Sprague’s relatives. They spoke of his depression and how he voiced his suicide wishes. They appeared to have some guilt because their attemps to save him were futile.

Suicide survivors were also interviewed, they spoke of how they attempted to end their life by jumping into the deep waters of the San Francisco Bay. Ken Baldwin dramatically told of his unsuccessful attempt to end his life, he went so far indepth to explain just exactly how he jumped, landed in the cold water, and how he was saved by a supreme being, which just happened to be a seal. 

Will we continue to hear of other suicide victims surrounding the Golden Gate Bridge? Will California finally take the steps needed to install a suicide barrier net below the bridge to stop such heinous occurrences? Will this barrier help or will it be a waste of tax payers’s money?

Afterthought 

This documentary was filmed and produced in a way that showed the suicide victims and their families nothing but respect. It is hard to fathom the pain that one must feel when their body meets the cold water. At seventy-five miles an hour, you only have four seconds to consider what you have actually done, which is unimaginable. There have been instances where people have jumped over the Golden Gate Bridge in hopes to die but survive with injuries and once they physically heal they will go jump again and succeed the second time around. 

This is not a film that one can easily watch without feeling remorse, fear, sadness, and despair. Most people are afraid to allow themselves to experience those feelings. If you are one of those people, do not watch this film, because it is very sad indeed. This is a reality that everyone must face at some point in their life. 

Review

I really enjoyed this refreshing but bleak take on suicide. It really allows you the opportunity to see what one goes through before they take the final step to end their life. This is a very intriguing topic that needs to be explored more often. I’m glad that the producer, Eric Steel, gave us this once in a lifetime opportunity to see these true life and heart breaking occurrences. This film is very dark but it was done with much taste. It deserves an 8.5 out of 10.

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