Family Issues, Medical/Health, Psychological
Documentary, Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary, Women+Film
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She's beautiful, artistic, beloved–and she can't stand to be alive. Documentary filmmaker Hope Litoff seeks to piece together the life and death of her sister Ruth; in the process, she gives a devastating account of the toll her investigation takes on her own mental health.
As Litoff herself explains: "A few days before December 12, 2008, my sister Ruth Litoff decorated her Manhattan loft like a beautiful stage, set with 15 suicide notes and specially selected gifts for her closest friends. Multiple bowls of cat food were left in case it took us a while to find her, and every one of her hundreds of markers was in rainbow order. The police officer whispered, 'I've never seen anything like this.'
"The film begins on that day I found Ruth dead and traces over her fascinating life and work—punctuated by incredible highs and lows and secrets and lies. It follows my journey as I examine her rich body of artwork, interview friends and family and read her journals for the very first time. She excelled at everything she did. She was my hero. Why would she want to die?
"Like a detective, I'm trying to piece it all together. But making the film has forced me to face difficult truths and caused me to drink again after 16 years of sobriety. The film raises so many questions. Must I admit that my sister and I are not so different? Will the process set me free or destroy me?"
Sponsored by Barbara Bridges, Caz Matthews
Producer: Beth Levison | Editor: Toby Shimin | Cinematographer: Daniel B. Gold
After a stroke rendered him mute and almost totally paralyzed in 1995, magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby composed his memoirs—which he dictated by blinking his left eye. Mathieu Amalric stars in Julian Schnabel’s acclaimed, heart-rending and inspiring adaptation of Bauby's autobiography.
In 1999, Jessica Gonzales's three young daughters were killed after being abducted by their father. Determined to make sure their deaths were not in vain, the Colorado mother sought justice and became an advocate for domestic-violence victims in the process. This is her story.
A mother with advanced Parkinson's disease fights for control of her life, while her son struggles with his sexual identity amid the violence of Alberta's oil-field work camps. This tender yet heartbreaking drama follows a family's fight for survival in the face of illness, guilt and grief.