I was initially expecting The Bridge to be monotonous and tedious
I was initially expecting The Bridge to be monotonous and tedious. Most suicide documentaries simply provide background stories for each attempted or completed suicides but lack that emotional connection with the spectator. However, in this case, The Bridge was the exception. This film captured the real-life and heart-breaking experiences that people go through while having suicidal thoughts.
Nevertheless, the controversy created around the documentary comes from very close-minded ideals. There is a reason that the productor of the film had to be in secrecy while filming, because people think that it is too raw and explicit to showcase the reality of suicide. It is in a fact a reality and people don’t like to be told the truth. Mary Currie, the district spokeswoman, described the documentary as infiltrating. Living a lie does not help the cause. Thus, although the producer did not do this in the most orthodox way, Eric and his team promoted awareness nonetheless. Sometimes, to challenge the status quo, one most overcome following the norms and expose the facts despite the pain and despise it may cause.
Mental Illnesses and suicide have always been a sensitive topic. However, The Bridge impacted the way I reflect upon these topics. The story of Kevin Hines, the one and only survivor of the Golden Bridge in the year 2004, was one of the most shocking and nerve racking. He had constant mood swings, highs and lows, and hallucinations which made living tougher in his perspective. Kevin said, “I just want to be normal again, but I will never be”, this is a significant insight of the reality of living with a mental illness and a reason why he felt suicide was the only option. The reasoning behind his thought and actions made it clear that he was suffering and needed help. I remember he mentioned, that when he was about to jump off the bridge he realized he did not want to die. That made me think that perhaps a lot of the victims just needed a friend/family member who noticed the signs and acted to prevent the suicide. But, how do you help someone who has already made up their mind to end their life and refuses to receive help? This is something that it’s constantly on the back of my mind.
David, another victim, wrote his last note saying that: he did not love himself, hate it himself, had no money, career, or significant other. This cry for help, brings out an important point. Feelings of commitment, depending on someone, feeling loved and feeling it back can make the difference in a person’s life.
The Bridge was clearly a controversial topic amongst the critics and the public due to its transparent exhibition of suicide. Many judged it as outrageous and unmoral, but this type actions are what is needed to create tangible consciousness amongst people. Overall, this documentary brought an insight of what it is like to live with a mental illness and the importance of recognizing the signs before someone feels like terminating their life is the only option.