Friday, June 27, 2008

Review: The Bridge

The Bridge (2006)
Genre: Documentary
Format: DVD
Director: Eric Steel

Beautiful but deadly.

Sometimes the most disturbing things that happened in real life make the best of movies. The Bridge is easily one of the bleakest documentary film ever made, standing toe to toe with the equally menacing Jonestown: The Life and Death of People's Temple by Stanley Nelson. Forget those beautiful documentaries about wildlife when there are still so many unexplored elements that could be discussed about us human beings and our human condition.

A life lost.

The Bridge is a product of the director's effort to analyze the motivations and the devastations of suicides committed by people who jumped off the San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. The location is not only a major tourist attraction but it also the most notorious suicide spot in the world. Using actual footage captured during a whole year's worth of observation in 2004, the film fearlessly shows the eerie and shocking suicides on screen, including the quiet moments that usually precede them. The interviewed family members and friends of the victims as well as witnesses provided the film with fascinating and often times, profound views of each death. The film never tries to interject its own definitive moral ground even though there were a few inappropriate soundtrack manipulations near the end.

Compelling and heart-wrenching.

Engrossing and incredibly sad, this movie is a once in a lifetime experience that cannot be missed. It tells cautionary tales of actual human lives lost due to a variety of relatable circumstances. It reaffirms the fact that though the preservation of life is valuable, it could easily slip between our firm grasps. Like the ever looming images of the Golden Gate Bridge that dominantly haunt the movie, life is ever present as it is ever mysterious and ominous.

RATING: 5 out of 5

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