Documentary Short Film Review “The Broken Bridge” 1




First, the Recap:

Objects that stand the test of time. Ages go by, and certain localities and the structures therein take on the passing decades, centuries, and even millennia with stalwart stubbornness, refusing to be vanquished or relegated as lost to the quickly moving eras. So, when an incident occurs with one such point of historical significance, how do those it impacts react to a possible loss of yesteryear? For the citizens inhabiting the small parish of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England, this defining moment came only a little over a year ago, when a massive flood wiped out part of the town’s famous, and necessary, Tadcaster Bridge.

Causing major disruption to traffic flow, everything had to be diverted to one other primary crossing point, creating a tedious detour. Deemed a needed fix, reconstruction of the bridge began, but while the public supported this, local business Samuel Smith’s Brewery contested allowing a temporary pedestrian footbridge to be built on its land.  Despite this and other potential setbacks and naysayers, the reconstruction was ultimately completed, and a town filled with generations of families and history was restored, with much celebration amongst the community. It showed the strength of a town’s steadfast intent to keep it’s past and present as alive as possible.

Next, my Mind:

Filmmaker George Robert Bartlett turns the camera lens on a neat little piece of English history with this short, 7-minute narrative that hones in on the concepts of time’s passage, its ongoing impact on a small English town, and the faithful, determined, unwavering unity of its citizenry to ensure that all that was represented by the beautiful old Tadcaster Bridge would be restored and preserved for further generations to have. It paints such a wonderful picture of the bonds we share as human beings when we see neighbors joining neighbors to petition for something they consider significant, in order that it be handled as such, not allowing bureaucracy or business to dictate a beloved city’s heritage or ingrained ideals.

Presented via stock and real time footage detailing the former bridge, the literal moment of the flood destroying the section it did, the subsequent closure, rebuilding, and the coverage of the divided opinion about its fate, the pacing here is, of course quick, but very much feels “full” in what we learn in viewing it, which is a credit to Bartlett & Co.’s editing efforts. Additionally, the cinematography highlighting the sheer beauty of the town itself is excellent. You have the sense of emotional connection to these people’s story, and hearing some of them sharing about being there during it all is quite affecting, especially the local bar owner who chose to rename his establishment The Broken Bridge as a tribute to everything the event encompassed and meant for the town of Tadcaster. Watching fireworks being sent off at the bridge’s reopening was touching as well, heralding the love of legacy the city and its people have.

In total, “The Broken Bridge” is a fantastic piece of documentary-based history that honestly could teach us all a lot about what it means to be true friends, a united community, along with the precious nature of what we’ve experienced in the past, look to in the present, and anticipate for the future when it comes to the place we simply call home.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!



One comment on “Documentary Short Film Review “The Broken Bridge”

  1. Reply Anonymous Dec 11,2017 10:12 pm

    Settle a vet for me. Is this a comedy film?

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