Bridgend | Chicago Reader

Bridgend

108 minutes 2015

Danish documentary maker Jeppe Rønde based this 2015 dramatic feature debut on a real-life grouping of nearly 80 teen suicides, almost all hangings, that took place between 2007 and '12 in the small Welsh province of Bridgend County. His research, which included more than five years of talking to Bridgend teens, led to many locals being cast in the film, but Rønde wisely refrains from trying to explain events that have baffled parents, church officials, and journalists worldwide. Instead he introduces his characters—a new teen in town and her cop father—and builds eerie atmosphere around the gorgeous Welsh landscapes and forests, where the town's teenagers have constructed a complex set of beliefs and rituals to counteract an adult world of restriction and hypocrisy. This is no horror movie, though it does have a hell of a haunting finish.

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