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The Joy of Life (2005)

HD   Unrated Closed Captioning

Jenni Olson

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About the Movie

A blending of documentary and experimental narrative strategies, combining stunning 16mm landscape cinematography with a bold, lyrical voice-over to share two San Francisco stories: the history of the Golden Gate Bridge as "suicide landmark," and the story of a butch dyke in San Francisco searching for love and self-discovery. The Joy of Life is a film about landscapes, both physical and emotional.


Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 11
  • Fresh: 10
  • Rotten: 1
  • Average Rating: 6.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: The Olson/Dodge text has the purplish, overwritten quality of a first year writing student's exercises, but pic's investigation into the bridge's tainted iconography is lucid and precise. – Scott Foundas, Variety, Nov 7, 2014

Fresh: The result is gently hypnotic. – Rob Nelson, Village Voice, Nov 7, 2014

Fresh: Once in a while a smart artist has an idea for a project that, when explained, sounds pretty boring. But in the viewing, it's actually quite intoxicating. – Wesley Morris, Boston Globe, Nov 7, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


I am not a big art movie viewer, but this movie was fascinating both in content and in the presentation. The movie was very quiet, but had lines that revealed much about the writer. Very personal, and I even laughed at loud. This is not a fast paced, big budget movie, but a way for this artist to present her work and message in a visual format.

The end of the movie contains a message about suicide and the Golden Gate Bridge. Again, I have not contemplated suicide and do not know any people by first name that committed suicide, but the writer has a well articulated and supported message. It is so refreshing to see someone trying to make a difference.

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The Joy of Life (2005)
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2005

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