The 8Th Street Bridge
Directed by Duffy Hecht | USA | 2011 | 14min
They thought it was just a bridge. But the local government didn’t realize it was much more than that. It was memories and childhoods and everything held sacred by a sleepy coastal town. This 15 minute documentary is about a small town’s fight against City Hall over preserving or destroying a historical walking bridge in Carpinteria, California. The controversy raged in the local paper and at City Council meetings throughout 2008-2009. These meetings were packed and charged with emotion, an unusual event for a normally sleepy beach town. People rallied together to share stories and memories of the bridge, hoping to fight politics with reason. They decorated the bridge with ribbons and flowers and spearheaded one of the largest petition drives in Carpinteria history. But when the City Council voted, the community lost by the narrowest of margins: 3-2. This is a story about public activism versus local government and about that government imposing their will over its people whether they want it or not. This film is peppered with interviews of all the key players from politicians to citizens, devastating footage of the bridge being torn down and the community’s heart-breaking goodbyes to an old friend. As more and more small towns across America become faceless, generic rest stops, you’ll witness how one small town tried to hold on to its identity and its memories.