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An honest and affecting portrait of addiction, the US director Joanna Rudnick’s short film Brother chronicles her late brother Matthew Rudnick’s long struggle with opioid dependancy. Reconnecting with Matthew after years of estrangement, Rudnick centres her film on a series of frank phone conversations. In these exchanges, Matthew details how a lifelong feeling of difference, financial problems and a painkiller prescription led him down a destructive path to heroine addiction – a perpetual struggle that came to define his adult life. Melding visual styles, including rotoscope animation and archival footage, and incorporating Matthew’s passion for the cosmos, Rudnick explores how even an acute understanding of the root causes of one’s own addiction and a deep desire to quit sometimes aren’t enough to move past it. In doing so, she and Matthew make a powerful case for a patient-centred approach to the opioid epidemic, focused on harm reduction.
An unvarnished, poetic account of a new mother’s struggle to breastfeed
Why making if-then connections might be the key to consciousness
The cast of ‘misfit toys’ who keep life on an idyllic tourist island afloat
Ageing and death
When his elderly parents make a suicide pact, Doron struggles to accept their choice
Biography and memoir
What Akiko saw at the centre of the Hiroshima blast, and the indelible mark it left
Yes, the Inuit have dozens of words for snow – but what does each one mean exactly?
Technology and the self
One woman prepares for the risky solitude of Georgia O’Keeffe’s American West
The ancient world
Sappho’s homoerotic poetry was beloved in ancient Greece – and burned centuries later
Dance and theatre
From calluses to burnt shoes, the elegance of ballet is built from the ground up