Hope Litoff in “32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide” (Credit: HBO)
Long-time film editor Hope Litoff is turning the camera very much on herself and her personal life in her directorial debut, “32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide,” by framing the suicide of her depressive, artist sister. The documentary, which is showing in select theaters and premieres on HBO December 7th, is primarily a tale of surviving a loved one’s suicide but it is also a poignant story of two sisters, a subtle portrait of the connection between mental illness and art and also a revealing look at the perils of personal filmmaking.
In fact, while making the film, Litoff, a recovering alcoholic, begins to drink again and we, the audience are there to observe her first drink and her spiral downward as she is consumed by her project and her sadness over losing her sibling. But, thankfully, there’s a final film to document her gradual climb out of her morass.
According to Litoff, for every suicide, there are six survivors, people who are “desperately struggling to answer the unanswerable.” For them, as for herself, she hopes to “lift the stigma of mental illness and suicide.”
Salon spoke with Litoff about her devastatingly …read more