Following the fathers suicide, Jackson (BooBoo Stewart) sets out to piece together the events leading up to his death. With the help of a church pastor Eric (Kevin Sorbo), and joined by a spunky pizza girl, Sophie (Rebeca Robles) who has a past of her own, Jackson begins a journey that may just yield more questions that it answers. What does it mean to be happy? What do we do with pain? Are we doomed to repeat our past?
“Hope Bridge” clearly shows that things in life can change, and change for the better. The bridge is the place where Jackson’s father jumped to his death, but it becomes a place of healing by movie’s end.
Jackson and a fellow high school student collide near a school locker, causing books to crash to the floor. Jackson apologizes but when the other student absent-mindedly says, “Don’t kill yourself over it,” Jackson flies off the handle and begins pummeling the other student. This results in a five-day suspension from school and Jackson has to see a psychologist, Dr. Eric (Kevin Sorbo), before he can return. At a peer group meeting he has to attend for those affected by suicide, he meets Sophie (Rebecca Robles), a beautiful young lady who at one time almost committed suicide herself. She gives Jackson a ride home and they become friends. She helps Jackson as he hunts down clues to what his father was doing before he took his life. This leads to a reunion with a relative he has never met.
Ultimately Jackson learns that his father had to deal with great pain that probably contributed to the decision he made to end his life. When Jackson goes to the bridge where his father died, he must make his own choice. This film does a good job bringing attention to the topic of suicide and illustrating that with proper support there is hope for those who struggle with the idea of ending their own lives. It also illustrates that those left behind can eventually move forward.
The character Sophie tells Jackson that believing God could carry the weight of her burdens saw her through. Boo Boo Stewart does a terrific job as Jackson, and the rest of the cast—Rebecca Robles as Sophie, Kevin Sorbo as Dr. Eric and Sam Sorbo as Robin—are all excellent in their respective roles. We are pleased to award this film our “Faith-Friendly” Seal for ages twelve plus. This movie tells an important story, and could prove helpful for families that have dealt with this issue.