32 PILLS: MY SISTER'S SUICIDE (Hope Litoff, U.S.). 85 minutes. Rating: NNNN The premise - loving sister Hope Litoff digs into her sister.
32 PILLS: MY SISTER’S SUICIDE (Hope Litoff, U.S.). 85 minutes. Rating: NNNN
The premise – loving sister Hope Litoff digs into her sister Ruth Litoff‘s belongings to learn more about her suicide – could have gone way south, but two elements make 32 Pills extremely compelling.
First, Ruth was a gifted artist, and the images of her very personal and beautiful work – often accompanied by pain-laden text – create a vivid portrait of a talented woman struggling with depression.
The title refers to the various pharmaceuticals Ruth took during her lifetime. Hope lays out hundreds of bottles on a long table – which trigger her, a former addict who’s been sober for years. When she falls off the wagon – sucking back vodka, for example, and sampling pills from Ruth’s stash – one ofthe director’s filmmaking colleaguess finally expresses her distress, raising the dilemma many doc makers face: when do I intervene when my subject is doing harm?