Is there any American landmark that possesses more sheer beauty, power, and grace than San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge? But it has a darker claim to fame, too — as the place from which more people choose to commit suicide than anywhere else on earth. Inspired by Tad Friend’s 2003 New Yorker article “Jumpers,” Eric Steel’s documentary The Bridge (available 6/12) further explores just why this sublime, iconic spot draws so many suicides.
Steel trained his cameras on the bridge every day in 2004, recording almost two dozen suicides and failed attempts. The shock of seeing people hoist themselves over the rail and plummet (for four excruciating seconds) into the sea below is almost as disquieting as the interviews he conducted with the victims’ families and friends and with eyewitnesses to the acts. The mystery may not be explained, but the subject remains fascinating.
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