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32 Pills: My Sister's Suicide

Hot Docs

2016 (Hope Litoff) , 89 minutes

In December 2008, police were called to the Manhattan loft of young, talented photographer Ruth Litoff. They’d never seen anything like it. Surrounded by 15 notes and specially selected gifts for her closest friends, she had killed herself. Years later, her sister Hope attempts to confront why someone so accomplished and loved would take her own life. Working like a detective, she empties the storage locker of all Ruth’s artwork and belongings. Filming every step of her analytical process, the camera observes Hope’s painstaking reconstruction of each day, journal entry and prescription bottle leading to the fateful event. A rich blend of photos, interviews and home movies brings the sisters’ closeness and secrets to life. But while looking for elusive answers, Hope risks her own relationships with friends, her daughter and her hard-won sobriety. Elegantly crafted and deeply moving, this original work plumbs the tensions and strengths of the sibling bond. Myrocia Watamaniuk

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