I was given the unique opportunity to view the upcoming movie, Hope Bridge, before its World Premiere on May 7th in order to write a review for local magazines and radio stations. This is my review. David and Christi Eaton did a phenomenal job creating a movie from personal experience to address the issue of suicide. This review can be found on Loveland Magazine.
Suicide is never an easy subject. It’s a topic that’s stigmatized and often only brought to light in the face of a celebrity tragedy. People avoid talking about it. It’s a dark subject and one that leaves us not knowing what to say or how to respond; especially when we don’t understand mental illness.
David and Christi Eaton worked closely with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and The Lindner Center of HOPE to take a dark and painful subject and paint it into a portrait of light and hope with their new movie, Hope Bridge. Eighty script re-writes is what it took to get Hope Bridge on the big screen.
As I watched this story unfold, the emotions were so very raw and the pain so evident on the screen. But, as the minutes passed by I could feel the hope building. The story addresses so many questions that survivors of suicide are often left to face once they’ve lost a loved one. Having been a survivor of suicide myself, I’ve seen the questions and pain that it can cause a family. The question of of wondering “why?” Then there is the pain and the lack of explanation that often drives those left behind to try and make sense and rationalize the events, when often there is no clear cut answer or rationale- often driving a person to extreme emotional turmoil just to try and find an answer that may very well never come.
In addition to the emotions of those left behind, it also gives perspective from the mind of someone who has had the thoughts of suicide which is a wonderful added element that helps viewers grasp the reality of suicide even more. As you watch this movie you see how suicide affects so many lives, not just the main characters.
Hope Bridge is a beautiful combination of awareness and insight into the pain suicide causes a family and community as well as advocacy and awareness of the importance of getting help. It encourages people to speak up and talk, to open up and share, and to seek help.
It blends heartache and hope, pain and restoration, despair and healing.
David and Christi answered a calling to step out and put on the screen a subject that is often considered “taboo” or one that we should keep silent. They put together a piece of artistic work that will change lives. This production will change the way the world views suicide and hopefully will open up the hearts and minds of those who watch it to know just how important ending the stigma surrounding mental illness is.
Thank you, David and Christi, for Hope Bridge. May we all continue to find joy in the journey.~Lindsay