The Girl On The Bridge
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…at times a difficult film to watch, it will remain an important societal tool that will increase understanding of what it is to be suicidal and what we can all do to help and empower others…
Heroes come in different forms; the heroine in award-wining New Zealand director Leanne Pooley’s (Beyond The Edge) social impact documentary The Girl On The Bridge is filmmaker and suicide prevention activist Jazz Thornton.
Filmed over two years, The Girl On The Bridge follows Jazz as she overcomes challenges to fulfil a promise to her friend Jess, who she lost to suicide. Jazz promised Jess she would relate her story one day to shine a light on the misconceptions surrounding people struggling with mental illness. Jazz’s promise to her friend comes in the form of a documentary series called Jessica’s Tree. The story follows Jazz as she makes her tribute film, touching hearts and minds along the way.
Pooley’s raw documentary within a documentary observes Jazz as an activist, an advocate and a survivor. Her own suicide attempts give her inside knowledge of how the mind works in these situations. The way Jazz takes it upon herself to be the voice on the other end of the phone or text to others in similar grim circumstances leaves the filmmaker and audience deeply concerned for her welfare. However, like all true heroes, Jazz soldiers on in her attempt to make the lasting change as a voice of hope and a champion for people who feel they have no other option.
Jazz shows there are other options far greater than one’s current circumstances; this is portrayed in the film while never dismissing what individuals might be experiencing to get them there in the first place.
While The Girl On The Bridge is at times a difficult film to watch, it will remain an important societal tool that will increase understanding of what it is to be suicidal and what we can all do to help and empower others, while promoting a culture where suicide can and should be okay to talk about.
The Girl On The Bridge releases for the first time in Australia from October 10. The film will be available to watch online and in select cinemas nationally to coincide with Mental Health Week (October 10-17).
Find out more at www.thegirlonthebridgefilm.com.au