‘Accidents happen.’ In the aftermath of a fatal car accident, one of two accidents that frame the narrative of The Bridge, these words are tossed up in the turbulent minds of a grieving relative. But accidents, unlike natural disasters – earthquakes, floods, droughts – don’t just happen. Whether it’s the collapse of the Westgate Bridge or a car crash, accidents are due to human error. Lives are cut short; others are damaged irrevocably. The survivors – family, friends, co-workers – struggle, sometimes for a lifetime, with the fallout: where to apportion blame, how to assuage the guilt, how to survive the trauma? These questions permeate The Bridge, consume the grieving characters, and undermine the whole community living in the shadow of the Westgate Bridge. The stuff of tragedy.
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