The Joy of Life is an intensely personal, intensely moving film by long-time Frameline fixture Jenni Olson. It combines two seemingly unrelated themes: "butch" identity and suicide (especially from the Golden Gate Bridge). [I sincerely hope that no one reading this blog is contemplating suicide. If you need someone to talk to, please go to the suicide hotlines page or call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433, 24x7). You are not alone.]
Jenni muses on her relationships and her butch-ness, as well as bits of film history, in voiceover on various scenes of San Francisco, eventually lingering at the Golden Gate Bridge. Even though the GGB is the #1 most popular landmark for suicides in the entire world, the Bridge District has stalled for 68 years on installing some sort of barrier. Thanks in part to this film, a study is currently underway, with a barrier to be installed by 2007.
THE JOY OF LIFE, dir. Jenni Olson, 2005 USA, 65 min., 16mm, unrated, Frameline distribution.