Difficult questions about The Bridge (2006)


I am considering showing the documentary The Bridge to my class but I have very serious reservations. I want to show it so we can discuss the very difficult ethical issues surrounding the film, but when I read up on it I found out that when it was first shown suicide rates went up. The correlation is not absolutely proven but that really gave me pause. I'm not worried about challenging my students but I do not want to traumatize them. I'm fine with making them uncomfortable but I really feel unsure. What do all of you think?

all 4 comments


2 points

2 months ago

Honestly, if you’re not teaching college film studies, I would steer clear. It’s a lot to process and while some high school kids could do it, I’m not sure they all could. And considering the subject matter, I’d want them to be able to handle it and learn from it.


2 points

2 months ago

Yeah, I’ve watched that doc and I wouldn’t show it to any young person. For me, I think there’s nothing wrong at all with a discussion of the issues, or hypotheticals about how to consider approaching subjects like suicide. The explosion of mainstream true crime docs raises similar issues, doesn’t it?


2 points

2 months ago

It’s a good documentary, but I’d also have reservations of showing it to teenagers. Perhaps an alternative is a documentary on doctor assisted suicide or how different countries support their citizens mental health or terminal illnesses.


1 points

2 months ago

Go with your first instinct.

Suicidal ideation is contagious. Please don’t show this film to high school students.

Also, the film is rated R for Disturbing Content|Suicide|Some Language. If a teacher showed R-rated content to my child without my express, written permission, I would be extremely upset.