Filmmakers use hidden cameras to capture the various suicide attempts at the Golden Gate Bridge - the world's most popular suicide destination. Interviews with the victims' loved ones describe their lives and mental health.
People suffer largely unnoticed while the rest of the world goes about its business. This is a documentary exploration of the mythic beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge, the most popular suicide destination in the world, and those drawn by its call. Steel and his crew filmed the bridge during daylight hours from two separate locations for all of 2004, recording most of the two dozen deaths in that year (and preventing several others). They also taped interviews with friends, families and witnesses, who recount in sorrowful detail stories of struggles with depression, substance abuse and mental illness. Raises questions about suicide, mental illness and civic responsibility as well as the filmmaker's relationship to his fraught and complicated material.Written by
The documentary caused significant controversy when Eric Steel revealed that he had tricked the Golden Gate Bridge committee into allowing him to film the bridge for months and had captured 23 suicides which took place during the filming phase of the project. In his permit application to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area Steel said he intended "to capture the powerful, spectacular intersection of monument and nature that takes place every day at the Golden Gate Bridge." See more »
[after witnessing a suicide]
When I talked to the highway patrolman, I asked him "Is this a rare occurrence or does this happen a lot?" And he looked and me and he sort of smiled and he said, "It happens all the time."
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Man from Mars
Performed by Joni Mitchell
Courtesy of Reprise Records
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an anthropological journey
what brings a human being to intentionally finish his own life, to commit suicide? This documentary deeply analyzes the dynamics that pushed 24 people to kill themselves in 2004, jumping from the icon Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The movie premiered today at the new Rome Film Festival and I must say I was amazed by the accurate and shocking job the director did, putting a camera for one year long looking the bridge. He achieved a moving documentary that reflects the reality without being pathetic, always balancing the story, without being banal or simply an evil way of being voyeuristic. This movie aims to be almost anthropological in its precision, and really leaves the audience asking questions, they go out of the theatre thinking, and this is a great achievement because the theme itself is more than a taboo. The interviews of friends and parents are beyond easy interpretations, they show how sometimes life can affect human beings and change other people's life, that not always is possible to find the responsibilities or to answer the question:why did he do that? Extremely interesting, strong, but really worth it.
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