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UPDATE: The Bridge will be released to DVD on June 12, 2007. 

The Golden Gate Bridge, with its views of the San Francisco Bay and skyline, is an American icon and a major tourist destination. But it is also the site of more suicides than any other place in the world. The question of why this particular bridge is such a magnet for suicides (along with the broader issue of suicide, and mental illness in general) is explored in Eric Steele’s debut documentary, which he began to work on after reading Tad Friend’s New Yorker article on the subject. Every day during 2004, Steele set up his cameras and filmed the Golden Gate Bridge during daylight hours. Day after day, he and his crew observed thousands of people crossing the bridge on foot from San Francisco to Marin County and back. They filmed everyone from tourists to bicyclists, but ever so often a person would climb over one small part of the bridge’s mile-long railing and let go. However, while the camera can record the act of suicide, it cannot tell us what leads a person to such an extreme action or what thoughts run through someone’s mind during those last moments. In an attempt to uncover some of these mysteries, Steele crossed the country in order to interview friends and families of the jumpers he captured on film, on-scene witnesses to various jumps, and even a jump survivor. These testimonials elevate the jumpers in the film from nameless statistics to human beings whose lives have inexorably led them to a tragically decisive moment on the Golden Gate Bridge. Like the bridge itself, this film is beautiful, powerful, and possesses an underlying darkness.

–David Wonk, Programmer for Tribeca Film Festival

From January through December 2004, Steel used 10-to-12-person crews to train his cameras day and night on this landmark — using both close-up lenses and wide angle shots to see the full expanse of the bridge.

By the time he finished, he had taped 23 of the 24 suicides that occurred that year. Now he has released a documentary called “The Bridge” that shows some of the jumps. The film has produced both praise and condemnation for his choices.

ABC News Story

Trailer

UPDATE:  Read Bryan Newbury’s review of The Bridge.



Comments:
sandee on October 27th, 2006 at 2:02 pm 

how do I find out where this movie will be playing?


luke on October 27th, 2006 at 8:01 pm 

Larry King did some interviews about this tonight on CNN. Might be worth watching the re-run if you can catch it.


nessa on October 28th, 2006 at 12:32 pm 

i think this would be a very good film to watch, its not just people killing themselves, but their families also talking about their lives making them more real to us and perhaps giving up the insight as to why they felt they could go on no longer


Marty on October 30th, 2006 at 9:29 am 

Where can I buy or watch this documentary? I keep searching Google with no luck.


Carey on October 30th, 2006 at 7:55 pm 

I don’t think the film is out on DVD yet. I’ll post here if I find it anywhere though.


Audrey on November 4th, 2006 at 11:36 pm 

What happened to Gene ? How could he do it.


Sam on November 20th, 2006 at 5:57 pm 

I think that movie is disgusting.


James on November 23rd, 2006 at 11:40 am 

This documentary sounds very interesting. Im interested to watch it or find out where to purchase it. Does anyone know? Sounds like one of those films could possibly learn something from. Real life stories and down to earth approach by the sounds of it.


ray on November 23rd, 2006 at 3:11 pm 

sam, have you even seen the movie? You’re comment offers nothing intelligent to the discussion.


Don James on November 30th, 2006 at 10:50 pm 

Hello, i have seen small clips of this movie and like so many others would like to know where i could see it or purchase the DVD. I think there is much to be learned and value to be gained from this type of movie.
Thanks, Don J


Don James on November 30th, 2006 at 10:52 pm 

Hello, where can i see or purchase the dvd

thanks. dj


LISA BLINMAN on December 1st, 2006 at 6:35 pm 

i am in australia and saw the interview about this film on 60 minutes, i really want to see it, how or where can i get it???
thanks
lisa


Dave on December 7th, 2006 at 11:41 pm 

I just saw a screening of this film today in Sacramento CA. Very moving, emotional, and courageous film that does not exploit the vouyer aspect of this controversial and taboo subject at all… Left the theatre in tears…

dave


Sara on January 25th, 2007 at 9:30 am 

My daughter committed suicide less than a year ago. We are struggling with surviving this horrible event. I’ve only seen clips and read stories on line. I think this movie will help raise awareness to depression and the devastation the surviving families and friends experience in the wake of their loved ones suicide. I also think there is a valid arugument for constructing a suicide barrier on the bridge.


Susan on January 26th, 2007 at 10:59 pm 

My nephew committed suicide three months ago. Matthew’s death has devastated the entire family. My family is trying to help my sister cope with this tragedy but there is nothing we can do or say that can take away the GUILT. We all wonder what we could have or should have done to help Matthew. I hope this movie raises awareness of depression. I would like to see the movie but cannot find out where I can rent or buy DVD. If anyone knows, please let me know,thanks.

Susan


Susan on February 8th, 2007 at 9:12 am 

Is this movie available on DVD yet?


Denise Hollinshed on February 8th, 2007 at 2:00 pm 

Where can I purchase this DVD from?


Barbara on February 8th, 2007 at 11:07 pm 

You know, I have not only spent many yearsof life retrieving these souls from the water, but it’s memory is so close to me. I would like to see this accountance of that year. I would truly like to see the other side of the story.
With compassion.


John McAlister on February 19th, 2007 at 2:23 pm 

My name is John and in the early 70’s I climbed the south tower of the Golden Gate bridge.You are asking yourself why:someone would take such a life threatening risk. Simple! it was there.
One of the greatest wounders in the world and I wanted to see what was on top. OH yeah I also knew it would bring the news media and would give me my fifteen minutes of fame; for which I used to wish my brother a Merry Xmas. My brother was in San Quintin State prision. I also was deeply involved in drugs and figured,this would manipulate my using friends into turning me on for a few weeks.I also did not care about life. felt I had nothing to lose, since guys like me born and raised in several of the worst housing project in San Francisco were defeated from birth.Many paths leed to the Golden Gate. Thank God!!!!!! He was watching over me.
Thanks
John R McAlister


Holli on March 19th, 2007 at 9:02 am 

I think this dvd would be a good thing to watch. does anyone no where it can be purchased?


neil on March 22nd, 2007 at 8:08 am 

I think that DVD release will be sometimes in june 2007.


Wendy on March 30th, 2007 at 12:58 pm 

Wikipedia says: “A DVD release by Koch-Lorber Films is set for June 12th, 2007″


Margo on April 2nd, 2007 at 9:32 pm 

Can someone please let me know who Larry King had on as his guests when they had The Bridge episode on his program in October 2006? There were two psychologists that spoke about treatments available for people with bi-polar mental illness. Please help.


gabrielle on May 17th, 2007 at 5:00 pm 

I just watch the film and was deeply moved. My brother suffers from schizophrenia and suicide is one of my families greatest worries. This film is not just about the allure and easy accessibility of the bridge, for the purpose of committing suicide. This film is a clarion call for a America’s mental health crisis and the millions of people suffering with depression. There are so few resources for help and most of the time the family is helpless in the battle of the mind of a mentally ill loved one. The Bridge is a very moving, deep film and will open the eyes of many people about depression and the sometimes fatal and tragic consequences.


Debra on May 18th, 2007 at 3:42 am 

An amazing film; nicely captured, it takes a look at a side of life that is so ignored, but what people don’t realize is that if they were willing to look at that side, a lot of suicides could be prevented. It’s not until it happens to them that they are willing to see. Very triggering if you have often thoughts of suicide, so don’t watch it if you do.


Emily on May 27th, 2007 at 1:43 pm 

my husband committed suicide and the film allowed us to see the others left behind went through the same range of emotions as we did. We have ordered our copy as soon as it is released in June. Thanks for helping us to realize what we go through is OK


Sherrie on June 22nd, 2007 at 11:05 am 

My son was 22 years old and suffered from major depression with psycosis. Two months ago he jumped to his death from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg, Florida. I can honestly say that I would not ever be able to view this film because every minute of the day I struggle with the vision of my son jumping to his death. I cannot begin to tell you of the devestation and the suffering to families and friends left behind not to mention the deep pain a person has to be in to committ such a violent act against themselves. I hope this film is a real eye opener. In Loving Memory of My Son Frank. “Where shall we find a better son or kinder brother or truer friend?”


Brian on July 10th, 2007 at 3:03 am 

I watched the DVD the one guy who moved me was the guy by the name of Gene
I wished I could of met him and helped him He seemed like a cool dude who was just simply confused and needed help it was a shame to see him jump something I will never ever forget


Trish on November 8th, 2007 at 7:09 am 

Saw this on IFC. First was shocked that someone would do a film on this. Watching it gave me some insight on friends I have lost this way. Upsetting but well done documentary.


david trupp on March 23rd, 2008 at 7:05 pm 

other than buying the dvd, is there any way to see this film?


Shane on March 28th, 2008 at 1:29 pm 

You can watch it on quicksilverscreen.com

Heres the link http://quicksilverscreen.com/watch?video=33017

An awesome documentary.


Lynn on April 29th, 2008 at 12:07 pm 

This was a very well made documentary that definitely makes you realize that life just isn’t that bad.


Michael on May 19th, 2008 at 8:27 am 

Ive watched this film two times now.
Ive tried to commit suicide a few times now.
The last and most serious was an overdose and I was in hospital. I was 16 years old then, but im not 17.
I did it over a girl who wanted to leave me but I loved very much.
It was very helpful to see others in my position and rather comforting.
I feel that if there was a community where I could be friends with some of the people like on the film, we could save each other, because we have the same ideas.
I felt very sorry for the man who you didnt see in an interview, but heard him say he was cheated on twice and went to jump, but the police brough him back over. I know what your going through.
Gean also, I also love videogames (he wanted to work at gamestop) If only you waited man… :(
Also that guy who survived it… what a story! saved by a seal who kept him afloat.

This is a remarkable documentary.

Forshame the people on rotten tomatos who call this ‘morbid’! It didnt show anything violently graphic at all! and it was truly saddening. Ive cried many times during the film and im not ashamed.


william thompson on September 3rd, 2008 at 3:36 pm 

I am still getting over my brothers suicide. this film was a reminder that we as humans still have alot of reaching out to do


Maggie on September 20th, 2008 at 3:26 am 

I’ve been moved but also enlightened and uplifted by this film which was shown on UK TV recently. The lead up to the death of Gene made you feel you knew him personally and his last moment on the railings seemed spectacular compared to the other suicides. I don’t feel so bad knowing that that image has recurred in my brain many times since I saw it, when I read what other viewers felt. He had people who cared for him but it’s what he wanted.


Golden Gate Bridge suicide net - US Message Board on October 13th, 2008 at 6:04 am 

[…] is an interesting film on the jumpers. “The Bridge” – A year of Golden Gate Bridge suicides. | Documentary Films .NET he films 23 of the 24 jumpers the year it was done. __________________ Mad Hatter: Yes. You can […]


J F CARUSO on December 21st, 2008 at 10:02 am 

awsum =couldn.t stop watching the long black hair guy =with the person on the hill filming him =knowing he was going to jump p/s where can i get a copy


EML on February 19th, 2009 at 5:53 pm 

I watched this film yesterday, 2/18/09, and have been obsessed ever since. I cannot quite explain why but it has been a topic I have been curious about since 1995 when I had a vision of using the bridge as a way to escape if “things didn’t work out” in San Francisco. I moved here in 1996 and there was a time when I seriously contemplated going there. However, that time is past and I am deeply grateful I did not make that choice. I found the film to be deeply moving and I think this could be used as a way to talk about and prevent future suicide attempts. It actually points to the illusion of the romance and shows what happens after someone is gone. I was always against the barrier but now I think that more needs to be done to prevent the jumpers from being successful but more than anything, we need to work to create a society where few, if any, would ever take such a action.


yessika on May 6th, 2009 at 11:06 am 

i had a dream that i was with a friend and we were in a car. (there was more to it) but anyways all of a sudden we were going through the golden gate bridge it was night time. u think i saw water when I looked down but i didnt. I saw rows of hospitals it looked like one big endless hospital you saw patience in there waiting rooms it was a trip. how come later on I found out about all if the suicide jupers off the golden gate bridge. A trip ha I thought of my friend and I said “Lord now i know we dont live by the golden gate bridge but dont let her attempt any kind of suicide.Amen.” life is preciose no matter what any body goes thrugh remeber theres always a tomorrow time changes things change.and even if somebody does kill themselves you got to remeber time will still move on.


yessika on May 6th, 2009 at 11:08 am 

i had a dream that i was with a friend and we were in a car. (there was more to it) but anyways all of a sudden we were going through the golden gate bridge it was night time. u think i saw water when I looked down but i didnt. I saw rows of hospitals it looked like one big endless hospital you saw patience in there waiting rooms it was a trip. how come later on I found out about all the suicide jumpers off the golden gate bridge. A trip ha I thought of my friend and I said “Lord now i know we dont live by the golden gate bridge but dont let her attempt any kind of suicide.Amen.” life is preciose no matter what any body goes through remeber theres always a tomorrow time changes things change.and even if somebody does kill themselves you got to remeber time will still move on.


Christian on May 16th, 2009 at 11:39 pm 

I personally have known 2 people who jumped and died from the Golden Gate Bridge. One was a dear friend I talked to on the sidewalk in front of my house just 3 days before he took a taxi to the bridge and jumped off. What a great guy he was and so full of life. We even joked that last day I spoke with him. I couldn’t believe he could have jumped. The other person was a former boss of mine. A lovely lady who had 2 small children. She was a great lady who I had lunch with occasionally. She worked very hard and did 100 percent at everything she did. She gave me advice on being successful the last time I saw her and had just had me try on a new jacket she bought her husband because we were the same size. How do you possibly know someone can feel like this inside? Both of these people committed suicide in the mid-1980s. I still think of them both.


Teresa on June 13th, 2009 at 5:35 pm 

I watched this film on IFC. As someone who has suffered from suicidal depression in the past, this movie touch a chord deep within me. I watched the jumpers and thought, “I know what they are feeling”.

This documentary can help survivors as well as those that suffer from depression.


Linda on November 27th, 2009 at 9:15 am 

Shame on the people in SF who repeatedly vote down a barrier. There have been studies that the people who were talked down, the majority did not go on the kill themselves later. The bridge beckons with easy access—like having a loaded gun on the table next to one in suicide crisis. This film also underscores the need for comprehensive care for mentally ill. One of the guys didn’t have health insurance and couldn’t get meds for his depression. So a friend gave him hers, which made it worse. He needed a doctor and to be under supervised care!


Jodie on December 4th, 2009 at 8:37 pm 

I am in Adelaide, Australia and i too saw a special on 60 mins about this movie and have been looking for it for about 2 years. Today i purchased it on e bay. Just thought would let people know it is out there and very reasonalby priced.


FDC on December 9th, 2009 at 3:39 pm 

“The lead up to the death of Gene made you feel you knew him personally and his last moment on the railings seemed spectacular compared to the other suicides.” I have a real problem with this Maggie. I completely understand and agree with what you’ve said. But it shows the immorality of this documentary. It was built around this suicide, because it was the most dramatic and aesthetic of the ones in the film. There should be nothing aestehtic in a suicide, at least not in a mass medium like this. I think the film was exploitative of the people who jumped and their families, who agreed to be interviewed but weren’t told their loved one’s deaths were captured on camera, and would be shown alongside their interviews. If they had done that to me I would have been horrified.


More on Suicide Jumpers: The Movie - PsychiatryTalk on January 6th, 2010 at 12:17 pm 

[…] […]


paradise35 on February 15th, 2010 at 5:31 am 

I am in the u.k.I have seen the film, it is very sad to watch and heart wrenching every time you saw someone jump. :(
But ppl need to understand, when your depressed and you’ve had enough, no one or nothing will stop you from jumping. Sad but true.


R-m@ndo209 on May 11th, 2010 at 8:13 am 

I’m doing my senior project on this movie. it been a struggle for me not to get emotional every time i run through my slide show i have no idea of what could cause someone to end thier lives but I’m so sorry that they did. i’ve read about rumors of there being an anti-suicide barrier that could help save lives but noone wants to follow through with it =(


Annie on August 9th, 2010 at 7:34 am 

Let’s be real. A suicide barrier, which I understand to be in the works, is not going to stop anyone from completing a suicide. They simply won’t choose “the bridge.”

The problem has nothing to do with the structure. The problem is that “normal” people can’t begin to imagine the depths of the despair these people feel. I agree with those who say that unless and until we finally recognize mental illness as a serious matter, nothing will change. I mean really: are we to now hide ropes, guns, pills, trains, cars, and bridges from those in serious peril in an attempt to prevent a suicide?

The movie is NOT the culprit. Read about it–the producer had to lie to make the movie, and part of that was because he didn’t want anyone to jump during the filming to “get on film.”


“The Bridge” « Makeitintosomethingbeautiful on August 30th, 2010 at 12:13 am 

[…] and I watched a documentary called “The Bridge” tonight. It was disheartening to say the least. Bridges are beautiful, they draw people in and make […]


rico on September 21st, 2010 at 9:08 pm 

if u have a ps3,go to stagevu.com and search for (the bridge) and hit x on it.when the download box appears,hit the triangle button on the box that says download.go to file then save target and download it to your ps3


Jacob on November 18th, 2010 at 3:43 pm 

It’s called natural selection. You can do all you want to help someone and if they really wanna do it then it’s gonna happen. If they fail then they are obviously supposed to do something in this life


DARLENE on May 18th, 2011 at 6:58 am 

LIVING IS HARD DYING IS EASY THE THOUGHT OF IT IS PEACEFUL,THE CLOSER I GOT TO DYING IN THE HOSPITAL NEEDING A BLOOD TRANSFUSION IT WAS SO PEACEFUL I WELCOMED IT I WANTED THE RELIEF FROM LIVING IT;S HARD TO EXPLAIN I CANNOT FIND THAT SAME LEVEL OF PEACE HERE IN LIVING, DEATH IS A WELCOMING FORCE, I NOW KNOW THAT WHEN I DECIDE TO DIE I WILL WELCOME IT IT WILL BE SO PEACEFULL I;M 55 IKNOW WITH MY HEALTH DEATH IS COMING I JUST WAIT FOR IT


Logan on August 25th, 2011 at 9:15 pm 

Sorry Jacob – I disagree. If it were natural selection, we wouldn’t be the ONLY species to intentionally take our own lives.


angel on November 11th, 2011 at 6:46 pm 

….have you people any idea how sick this is? Watching people give up on life instead of filming why not try to save them! and “the black haired guy” happen to be a good man. im sure it was awesome watching his die you sick creap


angel on November 11th, 2011 at 6:47 pm 

….have you people any idea how sick this is? Watching people give up on life instead of filming why not try to save them! and “the black haired guy” happen to be a good man. im sure it was awesome watching his die you sick creep


jojo on February 25th, 2012 at 10:04 am 

First,of all,I do not think ‘movie’ is the description anyone should use when refering to this documentary.
Second…as a person who struggles with suicide ideation..and has attempted to take my life more than once I am glad to see it brought to light.
Most people keep to themselves because most others really have no idea what a person is going through and can not help and if you speak with a doctor about it they’ll make you feel worse by locking you away instead of talking with you.trying to help you get out of the funk.A practical plan.

I keep my thoughts of it to myself,now,lest I be be locked away..possibly for the rest of my life.


Nez on March 6th, 2012 at 9:08 pm 

my boyfriend had to write a report about your morbid documentary for his college class. the teacher didn’t bother with permission slips because it was a college class, but he was severely depressed and this just glorified the whole damn concept. he jumped 3 days after finishing his report. i won’t say anything further.


nick on August 21st, 2012 at 8:00 am 

I knew Gene personally, he will be sipping a beer and loving the fact his jump was the best


counselor on January 8th, 2013 at 12:24 pm 

I want to know something about the gray-haired man with red ball cap who was the last one to jump in the film. Who was he? What is his story?


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