This movie was filmed in only five days at a hotel in Norway, to prevent interference by Scientologists. See more »
When the woman questioning her faith in Scientology is reading the numbered list of cleaning guidelines on the storage closet, you can see that there is a number jump from 6 to 8, skipping 7. Considering the cleanliness and organization of the group (as is presented in this film), an error like that would unlikely go unnoticed. See more »
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The movie is essentially "cinéma verité" the other way round. It's fictional but in many ways more illustrative than a History Channel special. If you're after insight and good entertainment, then "The Bridge" sets the current gold standard.
The only reasons why you wouldn't want to watch "The Bridge" is that you're clinically allergic to movies without explosions, or you're David Miscavige (top Scientologist, incidentally the Pleasantville-type guy who speaks at the beginning of this movie).
"The Bridge" proves that in a good movie, "minimalist" and "low budget" doesn't have to equate "tedious", "black-and-white" not "pretentious", and "movie-with-a-cause" not "over-zealous and overblown". It was shot in just five days, and still manages to be fresh, entertaining and right on the spot. It's one of those strangely sexy movies, one which makes you want to be a filmmaker yourself. I especially thought that all of the cast were marvelous. The colour-within-monochrome effect was very subtly done and well utilized (although nicked from Schindler's List). Not least, the script builds up an amazing amount of tension and momentum, and keeps it very well. Scientology is shown realistically, without tarnishing it as alien-satanist-braineater-cult, and still utterly creepy and insidious. As an "acted movie", "The Bridge" can show stuff a documentary couldn't, for example the auditing session at the beginning brings the viewer to the heart of that process. It far beats having that process explained and documented to you in every detail.
The only thing I'd want to change about the film is the piano track which is a bit too jingly-jangly for my taste -- as if they'd chased a cat across the keyboard.
Scientology actually managed to get this movie totally banned, you can't see it at the cinema, rent it or buy it, only download it off the internet. (I'm telling this in case you've bought into their "we just want to help people"-shtick.) The reason are two short copyrighted sequences of David Miscavige. Because Scientology somehow are allowed to enforce the strictest of copyrights over all of their material in spite of the fact that they are a tax-exempt church, they have managed to effectively disable all validated forms of criticism. I'm sure the Spanish Inquisition wishes they'd thought of copyrighting the bible. "B-but the bible tells us to love one another ..." -- "Copyright injunction!! Burn the slag!"
But anyway, if I were a producer, I'd keep close tabs on Bret Hannover and his crew. If that's what they can do on a shoestring budget, then I want my next blockbuster to come from these honchos.
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