Blown away!! The 1st two words I could think of to best describe my take on this riveting documentary about the life and suicide of Ruth Litoff told through the eyes of her sister Hope. The documentary was released in 2017 and is currently on HBO OnDemand. I had this on my watchlist for about a month and just decided to check it out last night. I was not prepared for the depth, tragedy, artistic expression and passion of Ruth’s life. Now I’m not really an “art” person. But, check these out for yourself:
Original art of Ruth Litoff via Goggle Images.
Nice, right??!! Ruth was creative and artistic beyond description. There are tons of original pieces on Google and more information about her life and legacy. I did not want to start with the details of her suicide because she was much more than mentally ill. Her family and friends speak of her as complex, beautiful, secure within herself and much more. Although the documentary had a lot of nudity, it really captured the essence of who Ruth was. One of my favorite movies, Gia, about the life and death of Gia Carengi, one of the 1st American supermodels who contracted AIDS in the 80s, is very similar.
Ruth & Hope in happier times.
They should have been twins, right?? Adorable!!
Ruth literally wrote every detail, kept every medication, every picture, medical document in tons of storage containers in an effort to share her creativity and inner demons with her sister Hope. In certain scenes of the documentary Hope became obsessed with Ruth and it began to really affect her life and family in negative ways. To the point that Hope started drinking to cope with the pain and guilt of losing her sister.
Her “favorite person”… “Her everything.”
Ruth kept pills from every prescription she ever had. Wow!!
Hope putting the pieces together…
I was definitely in research mode after watching this!! There a lot of similarities between bipolar and BPD (bipolar personality disorder.) You may also want to check out Girl, Interrupted, the autobiography of Susanna Kaisen. I know you remember the movie with Winona Ryder, Brittany Murphy and Angelina Jolie. Borderline people are toxic together. I would say Ruth was codependent and Hope was controlling. But, that’s just my opinion.
This blog entry was created to raise awareness of mental illness and its many dimensions. Let’s continue to share our stories with truth and transparency.