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The Bridge: Suicides from Golden Gate

Credit: Jim Wilson

It is possible that as many as 1600 people have died by jumping from San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge. To date, only thirty-four people are known to have survived the jump, all of them coming away with broken bones from the 245-foot, four second long drop into water that is also home to powerful currents and Great White Sharks.

The 2006 documentary film The Bridge documents a year in suicides from Golden Gate. It is composed of interviews with witnesses, the families of those who have died, even a few survivors – but what makes The Bridge uniquely powerful is the time and effort filmmaker Eric Steel and his crew put in to filming the bridge. They managed to film twenty-three successful suicides in total. Following this film and the efforts of suicide prevention groups, plus a lot of red tape, a $76 million dollar barrier will be put in place that should make jumping from the bridge nearly impossible.

Obviously, if you’re going through some stuff in your life right now then give this one a miss; but if not, and if you’re curious to see the dark side of one of the world’s most iconic landmarks, then press play.

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Written By

Born and raised in the UK, moved to Calgary, Alberta for the weather. Currently writing for this publication and others while working on a book.

83 Comments

83 Comments

  1. Vāmācaraṇa Sen

    March 16, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    this was a really powerful film

  2. Chris Constantino

    March 16, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Gene was a great guy. I lived down the street from him, and was shocked when I heard the news. He was a great artist and could draw the coolest things. Very sad to see that video and disturbing to see a friend go that way. RIP Gene

  3. Austin Morris

    March 16, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Casie Walker

  4. Hayden Crook

    March 16, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Michelle Crook

  5. Arthur Doomer

    March 16, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    bizzarre

  6. Jordan Alexander Sabo

    March 16, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Dang

  7. Alvaro Ucha

    March 16, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Alfonso Vigliero

  8. Anthony Hutton

    March 16, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    An amazing docufilm

  9. Lynne Gehrke

    March 16, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Really gee

  10. Lori Kessell

    March 16, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I saw that a few yrs back. Sad

  11. Aaron Tyree

    March 16, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Great documentary

  12. Christopher Mowgli Alvarez

    March 16, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Spend all that money on a barrier? Wow..

  13. Paul Richard

    March 16, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    What happened they had to keep doing retakes

  14. Conen Tyrson

    March 16, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    The worst thing is that the person who watched these waited for them. He sat, watched, and filmed suicides. That doesn’t sound so bad until you realize that he watched for people showing suicidal behavior, and did nothing to stop it. He didn’t call the police, he didn’t go up there to try to stop them. He just sat and filmed whispering to himself: “do a flip do a flip do a flip… Yeeaaahhh that’s niiiice…” *fap fap fap*

    Piece of shit.

  15. Simon Pantet

    March 16, 2015 at 10:48 am

    You don’t have the right to end your life. Life is something precious that was given to you. Ending it is like failing an obstacle or giving up……… And I’m not even religious

    • j angry

      March 17, 2015 at 7:43 am

      You obviously like talking about something you know nothing about. I’m speaking from experience when I tell you what a person goes through. It’s not expressed in words very easily. But for me, I felt like a very tired person who has struggled more than anyone I know. I just wanted to rest forever. I went to the doctors , took MEDs even checked myself into several hospitals. Ten days after being released I overdosed on my MEDs. I when they found me. I was revived and I lay in a coma for six days with no activity. When I came out of comma I was very upset,ripping out all the tubes they stuck in me to keep me alive. That was seven years ago. Something kept me here. They say when its your time its your time. Why do babies die? Does god call for them? Did you ever stop to think that just maybe the message of a suicide is for someone who is left behind to wake up and realize somethin? Just thoughts stuck in my 5150 head.

  16. Chris Whitehead

    March 16, 2015 at 10:34 am

    So sorry to hear about your friend, I’d hope this doc brings some attention to suicide prevention and saves lives

  17. Conner Rambin

    March 16, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Seen it…Fucking crazy

  18. Ben Goff

    March 16, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Gene is the man. Would have liked to have known that guy. Suicide is what it is, their choice. Your life and you have the right to end it.

    • Conen Tyrson

      March 16, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      Gene seems like he would have been the shit to party with. I would have totally been this dude’s friend.

    • Sity Appleton

      March 16, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      He was actually rather shy. Brilliant artist.

  19. Adam Drzewucki

    March 16, 2015 at 9:29 am

    really sad and heavy but for some strange reason makes me want to live so much.

  20. Sity Appleton

    March 16, 2015 at 9:22 am

    A friend of ours was featured in this documentary. I will never watch it.

    • Conen Tyrson

      March 16, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      The director is fucked up. Rather than calling the police about potential suicides, he just watched, filmed, and jerked off.

    • Vāmācaraṇa Sen

      March 16, 2015 at 11:28 pm

      they left the camera running… and did justice to the people who jumped

  21. Irene Gaitan

    March 16, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Sad, but if you know that anyone feels lost love them tell them God loves them and let thrir families know to seek help, do what you can and in the end hope and pray its enough to buy time so they can come to grips and find a better peace than death!

    • Conen Tyrson

      March 16, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      Because god loves everyone!
      Except starving children in africa!

  22. Aime Leigh Chatt

    March 16, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Sleater-Kinney – Jumpers [OFFICIAL VIDEO]: https://youtu.be/vZA_7FtttRY

  23. Tovarich Merol

    March 16, 2015 at 7:53 am

    The feeling of wanting to stop existing really sucks

  24. Christopher Alexander

    March 16, 2015 at 7:48 am

    This is so sad, RIP to all who suffered May you be free and fly like birds.

  25. Harry Bauer-Obstler

    March 16, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Mike Muir is one of the 34 survivors, isn’t he?

  26. Brian Patrick Petro

    March 16, 2015 at 7:36 am

    I’ve seen this documentary it a good one, think it’s on Netflix.

  27. Denise Rogers

    March 16, 2015 at 7:25 am

    Fascinating documentary. It is iconic that something as beautiful and majestic as the Golden Gate Bridge would become the catalyst of ending so many lives…

  28. Nelson Cantin-Gingras

    March 16, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Olivier Roy

  29. Melinda Foofie Deyhle

    March 16, 2015 at 6:24 am

    Thanks for sharing this doc; fascinating.

  30. Lucas Delgado

    March 16, 2015 at 5:28 am

    Carinna Blevins

  31. John Lateralus

    March 16, 2015 at 5:19 am

    I’m glad we were finally able to convince homosexuals to kill themselves.

  32. La Bandita

    March 16, 2015 at 5:07 am

    love this documentary movie

  33. Mark Jordan

    March 16, 2015 at 4:24 am

    Terrah Yvette Roberts

  34. Joe Horne

    March 16, 2015 at 4:11 am

    Happens a lot here in Charleston too

  35. Christopher Redar

    March 16, 2015 at 4:03 am

    That’ll save them a fuckton on royalties

  36. Malcolm Laws

    March 16, 2015 at 3:54 am

    Brilliant piece of film.

  37. Ronny Wolfsbane

    March 16, 2015 at 3:49 am

    Interesting documantary.

  38. Jaime Fay

    March 16, 2015 at 3:06 am

    I almost watched, but decided their deaths were not for me to witness.

  39. Jørn E. Svanem

    March 16, 2015 at 2:31 am

    Need to ban brigdes.

  40. Jristo Trejo

    March 16, 2015 at 2:08 am

    The sad part about it is they’re parents didn’t give a fuck…worthless old pieces of shits. I would have killed myself too if my parents were like that.

  41. Stuart Larwood

    March 16, 2015 at 1:55 am

    R.I.P Gene Sprague

  42. Luis Ebuc Ramirez

    March 16, 2015 at 1:43 am

    where can i watch this?

  43. Roberto De La Torre Jr.

    March 16, 2015 at 1:03 am

    Daammm

  44. Niccolina Vargas Ryon III

    March 16, 2015 at 12:55 am

    This documentary is so depressing. The metal dude with long, black hair pacing back and forth before he kills himself is an image that has stayed with me for years. So sad.

    • Stuart Larwood

      March 16, 2015 at 2:01 am

      He paced that bridge for 90mins until totally disconnecting himself from his life. Haunting but epic way to exit.

    • Low De Pluie

      March 16, 2015 at 3:24 am

      I don’t get it the film maker could have time for save his life and he don’t.. For this case it’s like is guilty for not helping. Feel bad about this guy

    • Sity Appleton

      March 16, 2015 at 9:24 am

      He didn’t try to save Gene. The glory is in the filming. It’s disgusting and we all lost a fried that just maybe could have been saved.

    • Ben Goff

      March 16, 2015 at 9:51 am

      If I remember correctly they just left a camera running. At least for most of it. I thought gene was the one to embrace it the most. I really don’t see how you can people can say they should save them. Talk to them, reason your side of it sure but they are gonna do it if they don’t wanna be here anymore. Its selfish to make someone suffer because you aren’t ready to let them go.

    • Stuart Larwood

      March 16, 2015 at 11:39 am

      Sity Appleton that’s how I felt, pissed off to the fact for these people to film their end. No help. Just do it! So I can make my movie and money. Sounded as though Gene was in the pit of depression and above all just needed to be loved by a female likemind. Didn’t help the situation his mother passing away from cancer, heard they were best friends kinda thing.

    • Mary Maguire

      March 16, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      The filmmakers weren’t standing there watching, this was surveillance footage that they acquired later.

      • Eulogy

        March 17, 2015 at 5:05 am

        I’m pretty sure it’s not suveillance footage. The image wouldn’t be so wobbly if it had been…

  45. Fabio Carretti

    March 16, 2015 at 12:48 am

    Can’t see it in italy, fuck

  46. Pablo Reyes

    March 16, 2015 at 12:42 am

    Anyone seen the doc about the suicide forest in Japan?

  47. Jay Gambit

    March 16, 2015 at 12:23 am

    One of my favorite films.

  48. Greet Herbert

    March 16, 2015 at 12:18 am

    Thnx for sharing

  49. Aprille Marie

    March 16, 2015 at 12:12 am

    thats pretty fucked dude

  50. Tom Videira

    March 16, 2015 at 12:11 am

    Punk Rock

  51. Jose Arrizon

    March 16, 2015 at 12:08 am

    I have seen this before about three years ago. I would love to own it on dvd. Really good film, all of it except for that whinney prick who survived the jump.

    • Vāmācaraṇa Sen

      March 16, 2015 at 11:26 pm

      dude the seal saving him tho

    • Jose Arrizon

      March 17, 2015 at 12:07 am

      The seal didn’t save him, he just didn’t like him either & just wanted to throw him out of his watery home & back to where he jumped off from.He was to whinney for the seal to put up with.

  52. Charlie Garcia

    March 16, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Roberto , Mark , Pat

  53. Ian Blackheart Manley

    March 16, 2015 at 12:06 am

    This movie is heavy. And also the reason the golden gate is played out for suicides.

    • Jack Wilson

      March 16, 2015 at 9:11 am

      Idk why the Golden Gate Bridge is a magnet for suicide I live not to far from the bridge there’s nothing on that bridge that screams kill your self on there

  54. Krissy Pederson

    March 16, 2015 at 12:06 am

    Great doc.

  55. Charlie Garcia

    March 16, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Pablo , Wolf

  56. Artie Fufkin

    March 16, 2015 at 12:01 am

    I would be so mad to be of those 34 people…

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