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the bridge documentary


Lie_low
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I don’t know how many of you have seen it, but basically “the bridge” is a documentary that looks at the problem of suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge. Controversy did arise over ethical concerns because cameras set up by the director caught actual suicides on tape.

Well “the bridge” is not far away, and I must admit that the thought of jumping has crossed my mind but it’s not something that I would ever do. I had a friend die in a similar way. It was particularly sad because apparently nobody knew how depressed he was, or that he was suicidal…it was a big shock to everyone. I know his parents from church and they are great people. It was such a waste. It’s so sad what they have had to go through because of it. I just wish he would have reached out to someone…I wish that there wasn’t such a stigma surrounding mental illness within the church. His art was amazing. He had so much to offer but he couldn’t see it…he lost all hope. I actually found the movie to be very poignant and I liked how they included family and friends in the stories.

Some of the material is disturbing and might be triggering to some people. It’s hard when you get to the point when it seems like there is no way that you will ever feel better, but I think it’s important to remember that what we do impacts other people. I am wondering if any of you have seen it and what you think about it so please share if you can. Thanks.

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I haven't seen the documentary myself, but I've read about it online. I'm probably better off not seeing it, in fact. Back when I was having such thoughts, a trip to the bridge featured fairly often. Partly, of course, because it's all the way across the country, for me, so I'd have plenty of time to change my mind. ;-) Even suicidal, I have a fairly strong sense of self-preservation.

I found it more useful to read about the effects that that impact has on the body, and about the people whose job it is to collect the bodies.

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Yeah I don’t think it would be good for someone that is suicidal to see this film and that is why I didn’t suggest it even though you can watch the whole thing on you tube if you want to. I know that there are people (and I don’t really understand it) who have something similar to revenge on their minds when they think about suicide and they want to make a dramatic exit and maybe the bridge is appealing to them. About what happens to the body-- I was going to mention how my friend died (and it certainly wasn’t pleasant) but I realized it would be inappropriate to do that.

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Yeah, I've heard about the horrors & Suicide's committed on that Bridge! Never seen the film though!

Fortunately for me, It's a good job that I live in the UK! There have been times when I have felt at rock bottom, & I would of been one of them who had jumped of that Bridge, I know I would!

It takes a lot of guts to do something like that! Not to mention the stigma that must be involved as well!

My feelings are that people shouldn't be let to get that depressed! There should be a lot more help for the Society that is under Mental Health. We all know how it feels & it's not normal is it!

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I'd like to see that actually. It's on youtube, and it's complete?

I used to live in Marin, one day i hitched a ride to the bridge. I was standing there in the middle, trying to figure out if i had reached the highest point. And i didn't notice the 2 cops coming toward me 'til they were right on me. The G.G. Bridge police, and i thought: wow, i didn't know the bridge had it's own p.d. Well my first thought was: oh, ****.

They were polite and nice, one asked me, "What are you doing?" And i said, "Umm, nothing." (Oh, good answer). Then one of them says, "Why don't you come with us?" I said, "Umm, 'cause i don't want to?" So i had to go with them.

L.L., i am truly sorry for what you went thru, i'm not insensitive to it nor am i trying to make light of it.

I've been depressed and suicidal my entire life, it's just part of what i am.

vale,

Poet

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I had never heard of this nor seen it before. I chose to watch the documentary, in its entirety on YouTube, thinking perhaps I would be "cured" of my SI thoughts by hearing the families discuss the impact. Instead, I am now a tangle of emotions. I am sad for everyone involved. I am angry at the passersby who did nothing, yet, I'm keenly aware that any reprieve may have only been temporary anyway. I am frustrated by the minimalization of depression, mental disorders and suicide by comments such as "If he had just checked the messages..." as though any ONE thing is what drives people to take their own lives. I am discouraged by family and friends who felt they "had" to let the love one go, knowing of their suicidal intention, as though that brokenness within somehow made them not worth fighting for anymore. I am aggravated by the disengaged family members and friends who say "I will never understand..." Of course you won't. You can't. Unless and until you find yourself in the same emotional place, you simply cannot. I could never fathom the motivation behind suicide much less the actual willingness to follow through. And, yet, when I found myself at my lowest point, I suddenly "got it." Those family members won't "get it" because they haven't experienced depression of the magnitude that guts a person and removes his very soul. I think it was a well-made poignant film and I appreciate that there was no on-screen direction, discussions or commentary by the film makers themselves. But, at the same time, it left unanswered one important question: what was the goal of this documentary? To provide statistical education? To inform? To deter suicide or, more simply, suicide in this manner? To glorify or romanticize the act, method, location or victim? I found myself continuously wondering what it was I was supposed to take away from this film? I dunno. My thoughts are all over the place on this one. I do have SIs. I do have past attempts. I feel like I can honestly say I would never attempt again but, before my first attempt, I had always said I would never do anything like that. So, who knows what one is capable of at their absolute breaking point. But, should I get to that point again, I certainly hope and pray that the people in my life would be angered enough and frightened enough to protect me from me and not turn their backs and wait for the odd combination of guilt and relief to settle in.

I guess, for me, it showed me a side of humanity I was probably better off not knowing about.

Edited by Proverbs31:28
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Thanks for the replies Paula, poetdowns, and proverbs.

poetdowns--that sounds like it must have been a tough experience for you but its good that you got through it and that your still here.

Paula, it’s surprising that the bridge is so infamous that you have even heard about it in the UK.

Proverbs--Thank you for your thoughtful response. It’s a sad film and I understand your reaction to it. I did have some of the same reservations that you did about the film. Having said that, I do think it pretty accurately captures the different ways that people react to suicide--good or bad. About the purpose of the film--I do think it helped to raise awareness about possible efforts to create a suicide barrier for the bridge. Maybe it’s not worth your time but I think it clarifies what the goals of the film were. Here is director Eric Steel’s explanation for making the film.

You know, I hadn’t seen the film in a while and I watched it again yesterday and I had to turn away because I couldn’t bear to look at the jump scenes. I don’t know what has changed but the idea of doing something like that seems nightmarish to me now. It wasn’t like that a couple of years ago and I guess that’s a good thing.

Edited by Lie_low
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About the purpose of the film--I do think it helped to raise awareness about possible efforts to create a suicide barrier for the bridge. Maybe it’s not worth your time but I think it clarifies what the goals of the film were. Here is director Eric Steel’s explanation for making the film.

You know, I hadn’t seen the film in a while and I watched it again yesterday and I had to turn away because I couldn’t bear to look at the jump scenes.

Thank you for clairifying the purpose. It certainly does fill in that missing piece for me.

I could not watch the actual jumps, either. I just don't think I could watch a person actually take their own life. I dunno- movies/fiction is one thing, but reality is a whole other matter.

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There are 3 bridges in the Bay area, and if i remember correctly: nobody's certain how/why the Golden Gate became the popular place for jumping when you factor in the Richmond Bridge is higher and has easier pedestrian access.

Also, awhile back there was a media blackout on the number of deaths from off of the G.G., the number was getting close to a hundred and they didn't want people jumping so they could be known as "the 100th person". So the newspapers muddied the numbers a bit and it was kind of a big deal at the time.

Which makes sense, albeit in a sad sort of way.

anon,

Poet

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