Directed by: George Bartlett
Written by: George Bartlett
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THE BROKEN BRIDGE
Bad things happen. Natural disasters occur and when they do, it's never an easy aftermath. "The Broken Bridge" is a quick fix film featuring segments and interviews involving the collapse of the Tadcaster Bridge, much in line with any documentary segment you'll see. I use the word "segment" because in reality, that's all this is. It would be a stretch to call this a proper documentary, since it clocks in at around five and a half minutes. More akin to a news story, but one that happens to be well done.
It's hard for me to imagine the use of the term "disaster" when watching this title. It is a sad thing when things come apart. Especially old things, yet it happens daily. If you tune into this short film, expecting hoards of sad interviews, massive amounts of footage containing damaged property or even, dare I write, loss of life... you won't find it here. This is literally a few clips of a piece of a bridge collapsing, being rebuilt, and a few interviews spattered through-out. "The Broken Bridge" is more of a "life goes on" kind of story, showcasing the coming together of many people, united in a single cause. However, there is nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.
Now, I don't want to come across as mean, or uncaring, but I wish a little more time was spent on the history of the bridge. This is one of those rare films that should have been longer. The harsh truth is that in the grand scheme of things, we have a bridge. A bridge that finally gave in to nature. This is not a huge disaster and quite frankly, when producing a documentary on this subject, some effort to make people really care about this bridge should have been used. It's hard for outsiders to really become interested when for people like me, it's no different than hearing of a flood in an antique shop. Sad? Yes. Newsworthy? Maybe... to anyone involved with the store itself, but not for me. This "caring feeling" could have been built with some history of the bridge, or some "real" stories from the locals... anything to build up the bridge or town in my mind. Locals will no doubt love watching this. It's their history. It's their town. It's not mine. George Bartlett, in my humble opinion, would have done much better to try and "make" it my story. My business. I just never felt that way. I also believe that this would be an almost impossible task to do in under six minutes. That is one of the reasons this should have been a longer film. As for the quality of the production itself? Much better than most indie, low budget documentaries I've seen. As I compared this title above to a news segment... I stand by that. "The Broken Bridge" would look at home playing on any broadcast platform. It really is a visually well done and put together title.
So there you have it. As a centerpiece for a coffee conversation, this film is definitely worthy. More as a coming together kind of story for people, not so much for the collapse itself. Things get old. Things get weaker and nature is unrelenting. We all know this. While it's a shame the bridge gave into time, for me, this was more about the people dealing with a bad situation. Coming together to do what had to be done. A quick fix film. One that happens to be available to watch right now.