The Bridge

The Bridge

2006, Psychology  -   204 Comments
Ratings: 7.69/10 from 203 users.

The BridgeInspired by a New Yorker story, Jumpers, written by Tad Friend, director Eric Steel decided to train cameras on the Golden Gate Bridge over the course of 2004 to capture the people who attempted to leap off the famed structure, the site of more suicides than anywhere else in the world.

He also tracked down and interviewed the friends, family members, and eyewitnesses to further recreate the events leading up to the incident and to try to explain what led these people to want to kill themselves, especially at this specific site.

The documentary's primary subjects all struggled with mental illness, including severe depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorders, and the documentary struggles to understand their illness while illuminating the anger and hurt of their loved ones. Available only in North America

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K Eddy
7 years ago

The aftermath of a loved one's suicide is a lengthy and foggy road. The "what-ifs" never disappear and the thoughts of their future potential are a constant reminder of the pain that endures in the lives of those left behind. Nevertheless, those who choose to end their lives have usually been living in a forest of darkness for so long that they have completely lost their way and are unable to remember how good it feels to stand in the sunlight. Life is fragile and some are just too beautiful for this world.

Lisa Maree
7 years ago

I am really grateful Eric Steel made this documentary. I was born and raised in San Francisco and had no idea so many people jump off. Many residents aren't informed of how big this issue is. Rest In Paradise to all of these beautiful souls.

8 years ago

To those contemplating suicide, although I doubt there are many:
Don't. Please, don't.
It's hard, clawing your way out of depression. No matter who you are, how bad your depression is, it's hard. It's probably one of the hardest things you'll have to do. But please, don't kill yourself. Because you are amazing. YOU. You may not feel like it, or believe it. That's okay. Because I know it. I know you can do something good with your life, because I was able to. Sometimes you'll have your bad days when you want to curl up and die, but it can get better. So please, don't.

DarrenWilson Myrtle ave Crip K
8 years ago

can someone tell me if those jumps were real? and if they are how were they managed to b captured on film? is there a crew always on site documenting suicide jumps? pease someone inform.

8 years ago

This was a moving documentary.

I don't recall any of Gene's friends saying anything about him having received any care from a psychiatrist or therapist. Some of his friends (like the woman who said there was a message on the answering machine from someone offering him a job, and if only he'd heard it, maybe he would still be here) seem kind of clueless to what mental illness is. I appreciate that some of them seemed to want him to be relieved of his pain, but they sometimes spoke of him as if they all knew eventually he would kill himself. I kept thinking to myself, "Did anybody consider suggesting he see a psychiatrist??"

In recent years, I've heard a couple stories of people who jumped/fell off the GG bridge and survived. I think one was a teen who was dared to do it or something. But I'm sure survivors are the rarity.

A safety net will in fact be installed under the GG bridge to catch those who jump. Not sure when it'll be installed, but it's been approved by whatever local governments had to approve it. Unfortunately, that will only make people who are determined to go elsewhere.

To all those in this documentary and not who have lost loved ones to suicide and to all those who suffer from mental illness and have contemplated or attempted suicide, I do hope you find support and some peace. I was diagnosed with clinical depression almost 20 years ago. Right now I'm at a very good place, but it's been a real struggle.

David Graham Scott
8 years ago

A very moving and valuable piece of work. Constructed with empathy and understanding.

J. Murray
8 years ago

I my messages keep getting lost. I wish you could call a suicide help line I have used it a lot. could you call a hospital or drive to one. you should not be alone tonight. I would want my kids to live for me. you need to know that the thoughts in your head are do to depression an are not the person who you are. promise to be there when your parents get back, forget the selfish not understanding people they can not know what depression is they are lucky I hope they can stay out of harms way. seems that they are looking for the attention. I want you to contact me in a few days or sooner.
keep fighting and a hospital is not so bad I've had to go myself.JM

8 years ago

Can the owner of this site stop deleting my comment please!!! This is important, @jackmax needs to know the kind of affect his words can have. I had decided not to jump off the bridge but then his mean words put me back over the edge. I am not even going to give this a second thought anymore, I am not looking for sympathy I am not even going to come onto this site again to look so obviously not looking for sympathy. I'm trying to save future people like me who are crying out for help only to get told that they are whiny and pathetic and attention seeking and bratty, saying that to a suicidal person WILL put them over the edge. Please please, owner of this sites I am begging you to let this post because people really need to know what kind of affect their words can have, if you delete this then no one will see how harsh it is to say "oh you just want people to feel sorry for you."

9 years ago

Just watched this movie. I did not realize that the GG is the place in the world where the most suicides take place. The city's latest decision to place protective netting around the bridge should remove this sad distinction.

9 years ago

People commit suicide for many reasons.
But, what gets me is... what does it say about our mental health service and support, that so many people cannot feel it is hopeless, that there really is no help for them out there. No Hope. That is what breaks my heart. Sad.

Silvia Ilves
9 years ago

american people seems so cold... somebody cries her eyes off and you just dont too anything, and walk away?! or ur friend tell you that she want to kill herself , and i just talking him about suicide opportunities, like what the helll? seems that nobody really dont care.

9 years ago

Apples and oranges, MAllen.... apples and oranges. I just watched this wonderful documentary again after having seen it a while back. Very moving. The one clueless moment I have to point out is the lady who says something like "if only he had waited one day, there was a job opportunity for him at the video game store." I don't know if it is denial or lack of understanding. But someone who is that depressed is not going to suddenly turn around due to a possible job opening.

MAllen Documentaires
9 years ago

I have little respect for anyone who wants to die when 3,000 people who died on 9/11 would give anything to be in their shoes.

9 years ago

Powerful. Sad. Intimate. Solemn and somehow poetic work that touches the heart and reflects on our humanity and culture.

The GG is an architectural masterpiece and so symbolic and beautiful. This movie is a reminder of how many have been failed in even the best attempts at building "bridges."

PT Harding
9 years ago


I cannot grasp this! :(

I could never walk past a person about to climb over that rail without going up to them to at-least put my hand on their shoulder & give them a kind & sincere smile & a gentle rub on the back. If they recoil & jump, so be it. But some, EVEN JUST ONE, may just breakdown & I would give them a hug (a warm prolonged hug).

I would have to at-least try! It is our duty as humans to have compassion & love for strangers. Dogs show more love to a stranger than humans! But one is seen as 'odd' to give love, kindness & respect 'off the bat'. We live in a society where these basic human needs have to be earned. People have been screwed over & have been 'used' so much, they use this as an excuse not to try or to become 'involved'.

Society is dying. The irony is that the people who walk past the jumpers & don't try to assist, are already dead! They just happen to be the 'walking & breathing' dead!

The senior gentleman whom jumped at the beginning (in the baseball cap & green pullover) contemplated for a moment. As he jumps, you can see two people come into shot on the right of screen. They would have seen him prior to the jump as the were walking toward him, yet did not run up to him, call to him...... & as he jumps, if you pause the film, their faces don't even change expression as he jumps. Monsters!

The photographer who saved that girl had to get his photos first, before helping. His instinct was to keep shooting before helping!? What if she had not hesitated? He would have said "there was nothing I could do." ...But he would of had a great series of shots that he could have exhibited at the San Francisco museum of modern art, while people wearing skivvies, Tommy Hilfiger sports coats and banker-wanker glasses, could swill their glasses of chardonnay, whilst proclaiming his 'Genius'!

People like this are the truly 'dead'. Those monsters continue to roam, while the gentle, kind & lonely; leave :( ...& slowly-but-surely' they are becoming the majority.

Love to you all.

Laverne Swanson
9 years ago

I feel so sad for these people who decided to end their lives. I have suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. It hurts so bad sometimes. I don't know why I'm still alive. I used alcohol to escape off and on for over 10 years. I quit when it didn't work anymore and made me feel even wose. I've always been too chicken to kill myself. But at the same time I'm also afraid of living/ I'm 61 now. I think I'm at a point in life that I don't have a lot of enthusiasm anymore about anything. I have no real friends at all. I was always a loner and felt different and never fit in. I think the main thing I stay living for is my adult kids. I hurt them terribly one time when I had been drinking and explained to them how miserable I was. And that if I killed myself they should be happy for me that I wouldn't suffer this pain anymore. They all reacted the same and different too. I will never do that again. How sick was I at the time to do that! How selfish. It woke me up in some way. So I think they may have saved my life that day. Life is so painful. For some of us there is way more pain than there is joy. I try so hard to be positive but I still sit alone in my apartment. And have become a recluse. I don't like that I have not lived. I have missed out on life. I accept it reluctantly for most of the time. I have hope that I will live and experience life before I die. I'm not getting any younger and nothing has changed yet. I'm the only one who can change it but I guess I am not sure how to do that. I struggle with this on a regular basis. But I won't commit suicide because I can't and won't hurt my kids that way. I can't. And the bottom line is that I know suicide is so final. I'm not ready for that. My heart is heavy for all concerned in this documentary. I can't stop thinking about the one young man who survived and I wish I knew how he is today. He's so bright and handsome. I wish I could comfort him. Does anyone know of any updates for him? I would sure like to know. I hope he is alive and okay.

9 years ago

i cannot imagine what these people each person experiences mental illness differently. we go to pity game to easy we need save these i think its important to understand saving a person is a form of control i am not say let the person jump. just sit there be listen show some empathy not sympathy its brutal its all u can do a break from the constant thoughts is a start.

. i was deep in mental health issues for long time the internal guilty keep making go this way i was thinking up down i got to the point were i said to myself this is horrible i need to give myself a break over and over and one day i broke out. i know this is a rough subject i am starting to like myself others are just the icing on the cake. to people thinking this way i cannot imagine what you are going through if its that bad try tell someone that brings a second of light to you.

Cessaly Denise Hutchinson
10 years ago

Just so touching.. contact me before you try to leave this earth. You are special precious and loved!

10 years ago

God have mercy on their souls. So sad.So very sad.

10 years ago

I clicked on the Play button and got a message that this video does not exist. Tried the YouTube button, too, same thing.

10 years ago

As someone who has attempted to take their own life before, I understand what these people went through. I am, however, undergoing treatment for depression and I've come to realize that even if YOU don't believe you need to be on this earth, someone else does. Whether it be a parent, sibling, friend, coworker, partner, or even a total stranger; there is someone. Although the recovering journey is a winding road and may be dark at times, its worth it. I promise. If you were looking for a sign not to take your life, this is it. You aren't alone in this. You never will be.

10 years ago

I tried to commit suicide in the 80s so I understand the depth at which you drop in order to consider throwing yourself off a bridge.
I know many people poo-poo the idea of suicide and condemn it, but believe me, unless you've been in those shoes, you really don't know what you're talking about. I know very well.
I have this film at home and left a message on the website to contact me for anyone who is contemplating it. This is so I can just be a voice to people and an ear. I don't condemn or judge, even though I am now a Christian, but I fully "get" why people want "out" and I still would like to offer myself to anyone who might want to leave this world early so I can be an anonymous friend. I'm in England, I am now almost 50 but was 21 when I tried to kill myself and am glad I survived. My wife recently left me after 23 years, I now live with my young kids, which is a blessing, but life ain't always smooth and I still ponder those days, though not with the same determination.

If you need to talk, friends. just email me at (sorry, no addys or personal info allowed,,,moderator) If you need an ear, I'll be it.

10 years ago

sorry you did;nt know lisa,,but i can tell you for the stay at marin general made her worse,,please ladies,,if you where in there you;d never be the same,,to bad you could'nt understand her,and those meds killed her

10 years ago

putting anyone into marin general ptsch ward,,is insaneity,,no wonder she killed herself..they do things in that hospitol is crazy,,and mom you did;nt love your daugther if you put her there how could you??

10 years ago

Gotta wonder how many jumps this documentary inspired.

10 years ago

I am sad - because I have been there, in that dark, hopeless place. I have compassion for their friends and family who are still so desperate to understand why. It is no-ones fault. I am sure that if they are able to see their loved ones from the other side, they would know what hell really is. It isn't fire and brimstone. It is the million tears shed by them. It is the endless guilt and sorrow felt by their loved ones. and I am sure that, given the oppurtunity - like that young man who survived, they would try to make different choices. But that dark place is bottomless. When you are there reason does not exist. My advise for the families and friends, move on, live your life. Be happy and celebrate their lives. Let them be at peace knowing you are at peace.

10 years ago

I have watched this doc twice. I am so fascinated by the beautiful older woman who is connected to Gene. She just seems so amazing in a spiritual way. I would love to know if she is some sort of teacher. Does anyone know her name?

10 years ago

I see the bridge everyday on my commute home--good lord, and I cannot stop looking at it. I keep imagining the folks in this doc.
I think of Gene mostly--because we saw way into the angst/hesitation then final resignation. I keep wondering what gives one the strength to pull themselves over that railing.
We all have days of melancholy and watching this puts those days in REAL PERSPECTIVE.

10 years ago

Let me give a hint to all the Evangelical Christians posting under this doc: Your pressure to try and make people believe things they don't, and your consequential condemnation when they fail to believe what you do is a part of our society that can lead suicidal people to feel even WORSE.

Please, if you are an Evangelical Christian, and you know someone who is depressed, DON'T assume that your preaching about Jesus will help someone.

Human empathy can do more for people than you think. Jesus doesn't have to be a part for it.

Renata Subic
10 years ago

crying the whole doc :((( I feel there pain... It s hard to live with this emptiness inside I have it to I fight but I m scared that one day I ll do like they did... but I m a happy person love to live love to travel but the feelings sometimes just overcome can t explain its cem unbalance I know but even if you know u don t know how to solve it.. and piles are not the answer... hope for the best... think positive and fight day after day... dieing is easy so take life like challenge that you have to win so that you don t f** up this like everything else !!! peace

10 years ago

antoinette the comment you posted below seems a bit insensitive to the situation.
For those consider suicide I agree with Froilan. The Lord PROMISES he will never put more on us than we can bear- with that if you are going through a lot the Lord knows your strength more than you may know- i have been put through the test thinking this is impossible to get through. I promise it will get better JUST KEEP LIVING. If you need help with resources go to local churches. I am apart of True Vine Ministries in West oakland Ca. It may seem corny but Jesus is always there and he will help you if you just call on his name. He also tells us through the word of God that he will Never Leave us nor Forsake us- he will never turn his back to you and will never be unavailable or to busy. We have a great God and do me a favor if you are on the brink of giving up TRY JESUS call a Church, visit a Church, Get prayer, pray for yourself- even if you only call on Jesus' name... God bless you all

10 years ago

If people choose to commit suicide please don't come do it here. As a native San Franciscan that pays taxes it is not fair for us to have to pick up the bill just because they think jumping from The Golden Gate is something special.

11 years ago

To all who feels the same way as those people who jumped off the bridge, please try Jesus. Talk to him. . . Tell Him all the hurts and the heaviness that you have in your heart.

11 years ago

ok here we go my name is david ,hi Shawna i can tell u that i know how u feel when u say that u have thought of killing your slef more than once i have thought that very thing.But i can also tell u that it get's better,iam going to step out and tell u that i just came out to some of my family and close friend's,some were very up set,even go as far as too tell me that i should go right than and kill my self,i only tell u this too show u that no matter how bad it get's there's alway's some one and i mean this u never have to worry that there's no one to talk too u can alway'stalk to me iam a great listener.........THIS IS MY E-MAIL (Edit by moderator, no emails allowed) PEACE LOVE TO ALL

11 years ago

I lost my mother, father, and my best friend all this year ....

11 years ago

My social anxiety disorder and its agoraphobia will strangle my soul. Until it does, I will remember that it is not always bad. Not at all.

11 years ago

One of the comments from a lady in the doc was: " For most of us the sun comes out."

How true, and how sad for those who don't experience it.

Mikki Wejbe
11 years ago

some people cant go day by day without feeling like they are in a prison. the families and friends in this video were supportive of their loved ones & their decisions to end their lives. get help if you are thinking of jumping, the world has so much to offer:)

Digital Dante
11 years ago

@ self-existent: Comment on your comment is from a fellow antitheist, Hitchens fan, btw.

11 years ago

wow. the entire time through the doc, i had moments of anxiety, holding my breath & sat in disbelief as people jumped. my heart is so heavy for those who are suffering with ANY issue that could lead them to suicide. i wish for everyone that is suffering to seek any medical, spiritual, emotional, mental attention or support to help them take steps towards recovery, stability, strength or whatever it takes. my prayers go out to the friends and family of those who took their life & to those living in the struggle.

Sieben Stern
11 years ago

amazing docu - very well done and the film of the bridge was gorgeous.

11 years ago

I suffer from depression... If I lived by that bridge I would've jumped too. Sadly, I feel like I have a lot to live for, first step of recovery. I guess....

11 years ago

Very sad. Two of my family members committed suicide. It is very hard for the family to understand.

11 years ago

Yeah, I've known 8-people take their life since 2008. (one a murder suicide).
These are 1st or 2nd degree connections (ie. 30+ year family friend, his business partner--and unfortunately our friend found him--gunshot.

My best friend took his life. Someone I NEVER EVER EVER thought would do so. Literally, he's not even a friend I would put on a "list" of people in my life I should worry about and listen closely to the things they say .

Loving/doting father, (grown adult)--talked to his parents at least once a week. As kids, would close his social calendar if some 3rd cousin he never met was passing through town. Literally as teenagers, was that "mature" to skip parties and see family (he didn't even know).

Was in Real Estate investment, (double digit millionaire) when economy collapsed, so did his business. Very weird, I've talked to a Therapist, was told that Gunshots are typically spur of the moment decisions. I'm POSITIVE my friend's was as he was buried on Mother's day. Had he taken even 5-seconds to determine when he'd be buried, he would not have done it. This I am convinced. (at least not have done it when he did).

This Doc, has helped me. I guess it's because I don't feel so "alone" as someone suffering a loss like this. It's weird, we were friends for 28+ years, never one time did we argue or "get mad" at each other. "They Say" stages of Grief include "Anger" at the person lost. Have yet to feel that emotion, eve though his death caused me to go on "Sabbatical" for 2009 from "Major Depressive Disorder"

My only wish is that people will be more opened minded and treats "diseases of the brain" the same way and sympathy as Cancer, Heart Disease, etc.

Sorry, just had to post this here---not trying to bait for condolences--long past that..just that for people who disagree with the Moral/Ethical complications of filming someone''s last desperate moments, I find it in a way "therapeutic"

11 years ago

I don't fully understand how this documentary is ''thought provoking'', just some people killing themselves. Good way to ruin the good time the tourists were trying to have.

11 years ago

- very sad, very interesting and makes you realise what a gift life is

11 years ago

A call to every soul who feels trapped or alone: You are going to be ok. This too shall pass. Hold on and He'll get you out.

11 years ago

I read somewhere that the director wanted to discourage suicide with this movie. Is it just me or is this movie incredibly triggering? I cried the whole way through and I want to kill myself so bad right now.

11 years ago

Is it just me, or in the first 4 videos none of the people being interviewed seem to take suicide seriously, i mean in the manner of trying to stop someone or help them.

11 years ago

That's a powerful thought provoking doc. I like the dignity it affords those throughout, it's the first bunch of depictions I've seen of this nature - that are respectful to both victims and families.