Bridgend

Bridgend
Over a 5-year period in Bridgend in Wales, 79 people, many of them teenagers, committed suicide without leaving any clue as to why. This is the starting point for this mysterious social drama.

Reviews

John Chard
Never leave town! Tricky. For anyone familiar with the very real instance about the spate of suicides that has blighted the Welsh county of Bridgend, then this film is likely to be a mixed viewing experience. For sure during the film one can't help but keep thinking about the real events, the theories and facts of such, so it's a little distracting because Jeppe Rønde's film demands the utmost attention throughout. It should be noted with all seriousness that this is only a meditation on the real events, it's not offering up answers, so people should seek out all official text and documentary of the events for the real picture. The film operates in the haunting space of the ethereal, both narratively and visually, with the youngsters at the story's core firmly caught between two worlds. The behaviour of the youths here will cause consternation in some quarters, their recklessness and daring on the surface not making sense, but really that's the point. Sense doesn't operate, not here or in the real world. There's a number of striking sequences that show Jeppe Rønde as someone who has something to offer the indie art cinema circle. Such as the naked youngsters floating silently in the lake that has become their getaway place, and the finale at same lake that is akin to lambs paddling to their slaughter. Of course the director has had to fend off charges of sensationalism, romanticising suicide etc, that was to be expected, but he hasn't. He has produced a film of intrigue and emotional depth, one that stays with you long after that haunting final shot has vanished. 7/10

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