The Girl on the Bridge
THE GIRL ON THE BRIDGE is a feature documentary directed by award winning New Zealand filmmaker Leanne Pooley.
The subject of the film is Jazz Thornton and we first meet her just as she's turning 22. She's already founded her own charity and is a mental health advocate fighting to change the assumptions and judgments we all make about people struggling with mental illness. Jazz is s survivor of multiple suicide attempts and part of her power comes from that experience. But at the time the film starts Jazz has a particular mission, she wants to tell the story of her friend Jess who she lost to suicide . Jazz promised Jess she would tell her story one day and The Girl On The Bridge follows her as she fulfils that promise and creates a series called Jessica’s Tree.
Filmed over a two year period, The Girl On The Bridge observes Jazz as she puts Jess’s story together, navigating the same feelings of guilt and grief that anyone touched by suicide endures. She's also finding strength in her activism but her advocacy work makes her a lighthouse for young people and their families who turn to her in desperation asking her to "save" them. As she juggles the pressure of their expectations and her drive to make change, we're offered a rare and personal insight into the cost of advocacy.
This is the story of a young woman with the weight of a generation on her shoulders who is determined to force change. This is a film about hope. It’s a story about redemption. The Girl On The Bridge is a challenge to all of us to try to understand.