The Bridge: Suicides from Golden Gate

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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The Author

Gareth Watkins

Gareth Watkins

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

  1. March 16, 2015 at 11:25 pm — Reply

    this was a really powerful film

  2. March 16, 2015 at 11:13 pm — Reply

    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. March 16, 2015 at 9:53 pm — Reply

    Casie Walker

  4. March 16, 2015 at 9:23 pm — Reply

    Michelle Crook

  5. March 16, 2015 at 5:43 pm — Reply

    bizzarre

  6. March 16, 2015 at 4:57 pm — Reply

    Dang

  7. March 16, 2015 at 3:24 pm — Reply

    Alfonso Vigliero

  8. March 16, 2015 at 2:36 pm — Reply

    An amazing docufilm

  9. March 16, 2015 at 1:58 pm — Reply

    Really gee

  10. March 16, 2015 at 1:58 pm — Reply

    I saw that a few yrs back. Sad

  11. March 16, 2015 at 1:38 pm — Reply

    Great documentary

  12. March 16, 2015 at 1:23 pm — Reply

    Spend all that money on a barrier? Wow..

  13. March 16, 2015 at 1:07 pm — Reply

    What happened they had to keep doing retakes

  14. March 16, 2015 at 1:01 pm — Reply

    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. March 16, 2015 at 10:48 am — Reply

    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 — Reply

      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. March 16, 2015 at 10:34 am — Reply

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

  17. March 16, 2015 at 9:47 am — Reply

    Seen it…Fucking crazy

  18. March 16, 2015 at 9:46 am — Reply

    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.

    • March 16, 2015 at 1:03 pm — Reply

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

    • March 16, 2015 at 1:06 pm — Reply

      He was actually rather shy. Brilliant artist.

  19. March 16, 2015 at 9:29 am — Reply

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

  20. March 16, 2015 at 9:22 am — Reply

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

    • March 16, 2015 at 1:05 pm — Reply

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

    • March 16, 2015 at 11:28 pm — Reply

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

  21. March 16, 2015 at 8:31 am — Reply

    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!

    • March 16, 2015 at 1:05 pm — Reply

      Because god loves everyone!
      Except starving children in africa!

  22. March 16, 2015 at 8:31 am — Reply

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

  23. March 16, 2015 at 7:53 am — Reply

    The feeling of wanting to stop existing really sucks

  24. March 16, 2015 at 7:48 am — Reply

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

  25. March 16, 2015 at 7:43 am — Reply

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

  26. March 16, 2015 at 7:36 am — Reply

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

  27. March 16, 2015 at 7:25 am — Reply

    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. March 16, 2015 at 6:50 am — Reply

    Olivier Roy

  29. March 16, 2015 at 6:24 am — Reply

    Thanks for sharing this doc; fascinating.

  30. March 16, 2015 at 5:28 am — Reply

    Carinna Blevins

  31. March 16, 2015 at 5:19 am — Reply

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

  32. March 16, 2015 at 5:07 am — Reply

    love this documentary movie

  33. March 16, 2015 at 4:24 am — Reply

    Terrah Yvette Roberts

  34. March 16, 2015 at 4:11 am — Reply

    Happens a lot here in Charleston too

  35. March 16, 2015 at 4:03 am — Reply

    That’ll save them a fuckton on royalties

  36. March 16, 2015 at 3:54 am — Reply

    Brilliant piece of film.

  37. March 16, 2015 at 3:49 am — Reply

    Interesting documantary.

  38. March 16, 2015 at 3:06 am — Reply

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

  39. March 16, 2015 at 2:31 am — Reply

    Need to ban brigdes.

  40. March 16, 2015 at 2:08 am — Reply

    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. March 16, 2015 at 1:55 am — Reply

    R.I.P Gene Sprague

  42. March 16, 2015 at 1:43 am — Reply

    where can i watch this?

  43. March 16, 2015 at 1:03 am — Reply

    Daammm

  44. March 16, 2015 at 12:55 am — Reply

    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.

    • March 16, 2015 at 2:01 am — Reply

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

    • March 16, 2015 at 3:24 am — Reply

      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

    • March 16, 2015 at 9:24 am — Reply

      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.

    • March 16, 2015 at 9:51 am — Reply

      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.

    • March 16, 2015 at 11:39 am — Reply

      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.

    • March 16, 2015 at 12:09 pm — Reply

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

      • March 17, 2015 at 5:05 am — Reply

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

  45. March 16, 2015 at 12:48 am — Reply

    Can’t see it in italy, fuck

  46. March 16, 2015 at 12:42 am — Reply

    Anyone seen the doc about the suicide forest in Japan?

  47. March 16, 2015 at 12:23 am — Reply

    One of my favorite films.

  48. March 16, 2015 at 12:18 am — Reply

    Thnx for sharing

  49. March 16, 2015 at 12:12 am — Reply

    thats pretty fucked dude

  50. March 16, 2015 at 12:11 am — Reply

    Punk Rock

  51. March 16, 2015 at 12:08 am — Reply

    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.

    • March 16, 2015 at 11:26 pm — Reply

      dude the seal saving him tho

    • March 17, 2015 at 12:07 am — Reply

      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. March 16, 2015 at 12:07 am — Reply

    Roberto , Mark , Pat

  53. March 16, 2015 at 12:06 am — Reply

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

    • March 16, 2015 at 9:11 am — Reply

      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. March 16, 2015 at 12:06 am — Reply

    Great doc.

  55. March 16, 2015 at 12:03 am — Reply

    Pablo , Wolf

  56. March 16, 2015 at 12:01 am — Reply

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

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