"Bridgend" follows Sara and her dad, Dave as they arrive in a small village in Bridgend County. The village is haunted by suicides amongst its young inhabitants, and Sara falls dangerously ...
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Since 2007, dozens of teens and young people have been found hanged in Bridgend, South Wales. Most of them knew each other-they were friends, neighbors, even cousins. It's a mystery that ... See full summary »
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"Bridgend" follows Sara and her dad, Dave as they arrive in a small village in Bridgend County. The village is haunted by suicides amongst its young inhabitants, and Sara falls dangerously in love with one of the teenagers, Jamie while Dave as the town's new policeman tries to stop the mysterious chain of suicides. The film is an uncompromising story focused on the relationship between vulnerable teenagers and their parents who are left in the dark. The story of the film is based on a mysterious suicide cluster that took place in Bridgend County, a small former coal-mining province in Wales. Between December 2007 and January 2012 seventy-nine suicides were officially committed in the area. Most of the victims were teenagers, they hanged themselves and left no suicide notes. Danish documentary filmmaker Jeppe Rønde followed the teenagers from the area for six years and wrote the script based on their life stories. Bridgend is Rønde's fiction film debut. It is entirely shot on location ...
Tricky. For anyone familiar with the very real instance about the spate of suicides that has blighted the Welsh county of Bridgend, then this film is likely to be a mixed viewing experience. For sure during the film one can't help but keep thinking about the real events, the theories and facts of such, so it's a little distracting because Jeppe Rønde's film demands the utmost attention throughout.
It should be noted with all seriousness that this is only a meditation on the real events, it's not offering up answers, so people should seek out all official text and documentary of the events for the real picture. The film operates in the haunting space of the ethereal, both narratively and visually, with the youngsters at the story's core firmly caught between two worlds. The behaviour of the youths here will cause consternation in some quarters, their recklessness and daring on the surface not making sense, but really that's the point. Sense doesn't operate, not here or in the real world.
There's a number of striking sequences that show Jeppe Rønde as someone who has something to offer the indie art cinema circle. Such as the naked youngsters floating silently in the lake that has become their getaway place, and the finale at same lake that is akin to lambs paddling to their slaughter. Of course the director has had to fend off charges of sensationalism, romanticising suicide etc, that was to be expected, but he hasn't. He has produced a film of intrigue and emotional depth, one that stays with you long after that haunting final shot has vanished. 7/10
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