Eric Steel aimed two cameras at the Golden Gate Bridge and filmed every daylight hour for an entire year. You see, the bridge isn’t just the most-photographed man-made structure in North America, it’s also a deadly magnet for suicide. About two dozen people jump to their death there every year, and Steel figured that he’d catch at least a few of them on tape–and he did. The resulting movie, which delivers awful footage from the bridge and interviews with witnesses, family members, and one survivor, is disturbing and probably a little exploitative (Steel saves the “best” jump for last.) I haven’t entirely gotten my head around this thing, so hang on for a proper review. My sense of it right now is that it’s slightly overlong, but missing too much context. The director was there for a post-screening Q&A, and there were a lot of questions that the movie didn’t address at all (the non-existent barrier, the question of helping the people he filmed etc.). The Bridge opens on October 27.

The Bridge. Eric Steel, 2006. ***

[tags]film, 3 stars, documentary, suicide, san francisco, golden gate bridge, death[/tags]