Bridge of despair

In Homer’s Odyssey the Sirens’ song was an enchanting tune, impossible to resist, that lured lonely sailors toward a perilous shoreline, where they would die when their ships crashed against the jagged rocks. In the mesmerizing documentary The Bridge, the Sirens’ song is the strange allure of San Francisco’s magnificent Golden Gate Bridge.

More people kill themselves at the Golden Gate Bridge than at any other spot in the world. In 2004, the year that the film chronicles, 24 people leapt from the bridge. Only one survived to tell the tale (which he does, in graphic detail). By focusing on these two dozen, the film also manages, in a curious way, to focus on all of us who have considered taking the final plunge into Hamlet’s “undiscovered country.”

 

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