Added to my films
Eric Steel's “The Bridge”, a documentary exploration of the mythic beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge, the most popular suicide destination in the world, and the unfortunate souls drawn by its siren 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 more than 100 hours of interviews with friends, families and witnesses, who recount in sorrowful detail stories of struggles with depression, substance abuse and mental illness. The result is a moving and unsettling film that cannot help but touch everyone in the Bay Area in one way or another, not least because it admittedly raises as many questions as it answers: about suicide, mental illness and civic responsibility as well as the filmmaker's relationship to his fraught and complicated material.