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Old 10-23-2006, 08:37 AM   #1
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Controversial New Film About Suicides On Golden Gate Bridge

So should a movie like this be made, and who would want to watch it? Like he says, perhaps it will finally result in suicide barriers on that bridge-of course if someone really wants to commit suicide they will find another way. I saw some of this piece on ABC News and found it impossible to watch the brief clip of someone jumping. It just feels so obscene and intrusive to watch that.

"Recent articles have described the film as "irresponsible," "exploitive," "voyeuristic," "ghastly" and "immoral." Someone even called it a "snuff film."

"The strange part about that is, almost everyone who made those comments made them before they'd seen a single frame of footage," Steel said. "I think the film is incredibly sensitive. And I think people were quick to judge, because it's something they're very afraid of. Here there was actual footage, indisputable evidence that people were climbing over the rail, as easy as could be, and ending their life at a national monument, a place that we treasure. And I think that's very scary to people."

But the documentary has raised hackles over the appropriateness of documenting suicide, and heightened fears that it could encourage copycat suicide acts. Celia Kupersmith, CEO and general manager of the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District said that when Steel's film first began to get publicity in festivals earlier this year, there was an increase in suicide attempts at the bridge.

"I don't think it's just his movie," Kupersmith said. "Any sort of press coverage of this phenomenon here causes people to get ideas."

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Old 10-23-2006, 08:54 AM   #2
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I wouldn't watch the movie. Anything to raise awareness and to try and prevent suicide is a good thing but a barrier on a bridge isn't going to stop the problem.

I don't agree that it will encourage copycat suicides.

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Old 10-23-2006, 09:13 AM   #3
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i've seen the movie, and it is good, but not great (as a point of comparison, "Jesus Camp" is by far the better film). it is unsettling to watch people jump, but the director spoke after the screening i attended, and i spoke to him directly, and he said that he actually prevented almost 2 dozen suicides during the filming. they went out to the bridge every single day for a year, and a person throws themselves off the Golden Gate bridge approximately once every 2 weeks. whenever they saw someone who they thought were going to jump, they called the police, and many suicides were prevented. but, yes, you do see people fall to their deaths, and the audience responds with the most likely intended gasps whenever a body hits the water with a splash.

i think it's an interesting topic. i believe it was said that the Golden Gate bridge is the most popular place on earth to commit suicide, and people come from all over the world to do it. my problem with the film was not in the visual depictions of the suicides, but in how the portrayal of the Golden Gate is so gorgeous, mysterious, and almost psychadelic. i suppose it's not hard to make the Golden Gate and San Francisco look ravishing, and the fog and the colors and the light all lend to a sense of mysticism and surreality that i think, in one sense, captures the frame of mind one must be in to kill one's self, but i think it also adds to the allure of the bridge as a suicide location. i remember thinking, "wow, if i were to commit suicide, that'd be a pretty cool place." but is that the film's fault? if someone is going to commit suicide, are you augmenting their decision making process by inadvertently creating an advertisement for an ideal location to perform said suicide?

still, i do think it should be seen, but not if you're borderline suicidal and live in the Bay Area.
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Old 10-23-2006, 12:55 PM   #4
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Suicide is an extreme, desperate act. Most people who threaten to commit suicide are really crying out for help. The number of actual suicides is low. This doesn't mean it's not a problem, but a film about a place where suicides occur is not going to affect the suicide rate. I don't think I'll see the movie but that's because I'm picky about movies, not because it will make me want to commit suicide.
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Old 10-23-2006, 01:04 PM   #5
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i saw this on 20/20 the other night. it was a very interesting news piece. I have no intention of seeing the movie. I had no idea that the Golden Gate bridge was the popular place for suicide.

I found the first hand account of the jumper who survived to be absolutely amazing.
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Old 10-23-2006, 03:56 PM   #6
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I plan on seeing the film. Since I am a San Franciscan and my hometown.

I think it's an interesting topic. I have seen far worse that a person jumping off the bridge. I think this film will ask us why do people do it, what goes through there mind.
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Old 10-24-2006, 03:02 AM   #7
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I think its a really interesting piece for a documentary and would like to see if.

As for romantasing suicide, err, how can you do that? It still ends the same way, i dont watch romeo and juliet and think 'awww i'd like to kill myself with my romantic' i think that is a seriously stupid thing to say.

And copycats? Meh. They're old enough to have their own responsibility for their actions.
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Old 10-24-2006, 09:55 AM   #8
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Originally posted by dazzlingamy
As for romantasing suicide, err, how can you do that?

the film is filled with gorgeous, mystical images of the Golden Gate bridge, often in time lapse, that look something like this:

my contention, and this is an issue i do have with the film and did ask the director about after the screening, is not that it encourages people to commit suicide; but, rather, it sort of is an advertisement for the Golden Gate Bridge as a beautiful, romantic place to commit suicide.

though i don't think the film is the first thing to put this thought in people's heads. it's obviously a very popular place to off one's self. but i do think the film furthers that myth.
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:10 AM   #9
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I believe such preventative measures are appropriate and I'm certain there will be a dramatic reduction in suicides in the area. It seems the Golden Gate Bridge is far too easy a target for anyone contemplating suicide. If we can stop the ease at which one can suicide, maybe they'll see suicide as something that is too hard/painful to go through, and alternatively take the appropriate steps to try to reach out and find help.

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