Suicide docu haunts audiences

LONDON: A documentary showing real people committing suicide from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge has raised controversy at Britain’s largest public film festival.

Suicide experts say Eric Steel’s The Bridge, which shows six people killing themselves, glamorises his subjects and could trigger copycat deaths.

All research suggests that showing, in detail, methods of suicide does result in an increase of those methods immediately afterwards, so portrayal of methods of suicide is ill-advised, Professor Keith Hawton of the Centre for Suicide Research at Oxford University told The Times of London.

Steel, 42, says the most popular suicide spot in the world already has a copycat problem. He says the real issue is dealing with mental illness.

The film, screened at The Times BFI London Film Festival, gives brief portraits of the six people’s tragic lives, pieced together from interviews with family and friends. But it is the footage of the jumpers that haunts audiences long after the credits have rolled, The Times said.