What a Fucking Bastard

bastard.jpg

Today in the Los Angeles Times, I read about a New York “producer” named Eric Steel, whose documentary “The Bridge” will screen this weekend at a film fetival in San Francisco. Steel and his “crew” used concealed cameras to film suicides on the Golden Gate Bridge over the last two years, by obtaining a permit from the city to make a documentary about the visual majesty of the bridge. Steel says he was motivated by an article he read in 2003, recounting the bridge’s fatal attraction for the depressed.

The documentary includes vivid footage of nearly two dozen suicides. As he recorded the suicides, Steel sought information about the identities, and then filmed interviews with grieving family members. He never told them that he had filmed the suicides they were discussing. They are not happy about this.

Steel says that his crew intervened in 5 suicide attempts. I guess the others were just…..too cinematic to pass up? “It’s hard to watch anyone die” Steel notes. “No one on the crew went unscathed.”

WHAT?!  I don’t know about the crew, but it looks like Steel is unscathed to the tune of a few million bucks plus a shitload of publicity. His intent, he pontificates in the LA Times, is “to illuminate the darkest corner of the human mind.” HUH?!  Doesn’t he mean, to pander to the basest instinct of the jaded moviegoer? Can we get Joseph Conrad to step in and  clear things up, like Marshall McLuhan in Annie Hall?

Suicide Prevention groups are calling Steel’s movie an irresponsible, reprehensible snuff film, and  worry about the well-known phenomenon of copy-cat suicide.

I think I believe in freedom of speech. I’m really being tested here, know what I mean? The story includes a nice photo of Mr. Steel’s fat face, which seems to be begging to be smashed in with a baseball bat.

Anyone who misunderstood “Mothers who Kill” and thinks I might whack my kids, can stop worrying about it. I need to kill this stupid fucking bastard before I do anything else, and that includes the dishes and the whippings with the hickory sticks behind the barn.

3 Responses to “What a Fucking Bastard”

  1. Elena Says:

    despicable. i agree about freedom of expression and i agree that i’d like to express his face with a bat. i hope nobody makes a dime off this film and i hope he gets sued for invasion of privacy and jailed for failure to intervene. I hope no warm body ever allows him to make contact ever again.

  2. Jeff Says:

    Steel called the police frequently and saved several peoples’ lives. Watch the movie. It respectfully illuminates a topic that people want to sweep under the rug. His movie led to a safety net being constructed on the bridge.

  3. maria Says:

    I can understand your reaction since it is one of those documentaries that leaves, I dare saying, everyone speechless at the end by the disturbing graphic images, the moving stories behind them and the sad tone throughout the doc.

    The subject itself is heavy and probably making a doc so real by depicting suicides live is not a wise idea for someone who is already in a depressive state. But , as I see it, can work as a suggestion but not as the trigger. Why are people so worried about the bridge, i.e, the means, when they should worry about the cause and solve it. It can be a bridge, a knife, or any other way the person thinks of.

    It was a good thing to build the safety net, although there is always someone who can trespass it, but at least it was a good measure as a result of the movie.

    And personally I believe that the crew tried to avoid the worst, if they didn’t I wonder how heavy is the burden they carry in their minds.

    One thing is sure, after watching it I spent some time thinking about those people and one cannot avoid feeling deeply sad.

    BUT One the other hand, people should see it , listen to the testimonies, and pay more attention to the people next to us and their needs in order to avoid the worst.

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