Before I Disappear

Synopsis: A troubled young man and his strait-laced niece embark on a thrilling odyssey through New York City in this heartrending drama based on an Oscar-winning short. As his life hits rock bottom, 20-something Richie decides to end it all, only to have his half-hearted suicide attempt interrupted by an urgent request from his sister to babysit her precocious daughter. So begins a madcap tour of Manhattan after dark, as uncle and niece find unexpected bonds in the unlikeliest of places.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Shawn Christensen
Production: IFC Films
  16 wins & 8 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
93 min


Dear Vista, I've been meaning to

write this note for a long time

but as you know I'm not very good at

expressing myself. So I'll just say this.

I miss your smile. I would say that

I hope this note finds you well

but as these things go...

that won't be the case.

A few hours ago I found this

girl looking a little too peaceful

in the last bathroom

stall of The Devoe.

I didn't know what to think of it.

I checked her pulse, but...

she was gone

And the scary thing is she

reminded me a little bit of you

and just like you,

she left someone behind.

I'm sorry you had

to see this, Richie.

A beautiful young girl

dead on the toilet seat.

I mean, nobody needs that

kind of excitement am I right?

What do you owe The Devoe?

Because that debt is gone.

It's gone, Richie. Okay?

You and me, we're even.

The money you owe everybody else,

I'm gonna look the other way on that too.

You're like a son to me, Richie.

I feel like a father to

you all these years.

I know we don't hang out together but...

that's how I feel.

I really feel that way. I do.

Take this. That's on me.

You don't owe me nothin'.

Take that and...

Just... just keep what you saw here

tonight between us alright? Hey. Alright?

I appreciate that, Richie.

The world is a cold and lonely

place without you in it, Vista.

I just miss you.

And since you've been gone I've

been accused of being an observer

a user, a loner, a cleaner,

a failure and a fool...

but never a participant. No.

No one's ever accused me of that.

Anyway, I decided it's

time to call it quits.

The drugs no longer work.

I'm coming home to see you

and there ain't nothing

gonna stop me this time.

- Hello.

- Richie.

I need someone to pick up Sophia from her

school recital. Can you do this for me?

I know, I know,

we haven't spoken in a while

but I'm not gonna be able to pick her up

from school 'cause something's come up.

I'm just so f***ed right now.

I'm in a f***ed-up situation and

I need a favor on this one.

Say something.

Jesus Christ, I know you're

not doing anything important!

You want me to beg you over the phone?

This is me begging you, okay? I'm begging.

Listen, when you get there,

there's a password, okay?

Only she and I know it.

The password is "Chestnut."

Are you hearing me? "Chestnut."

Okay? Can you be there in 20 minutes?

Can you do this one f***ing thing?

What's it gonna be?

Please, Richie.


I've had the privilege

of seeing these children

grow and move on to

pursue their dreams

and I must say, this class

has some of the smartest

and most talented

children I've ever seen.

So let's have another round of

applause for the 5th grade choir.

My name is Sophia Holy Hill.

And for tonight's recital, I have chosen

"Because I Could Not Stop For Death"

by the 19th century American poet,

Emily Dickenson.

"Because I could not stop for death

He kindly stopped for me.

"The carriage held but just

ourselves in immortality.

"We slowly drove. He knew no haste.

"And I had put away my labor

and my leisure too...

"Since then, 'tis centuries and yet

each seems shorter than the day.

I first surmised the horses'

heads were toward eternity."

Thank you, Sophia.

Let's give a hand...

I'm not done yet.

I will now recite the exact

same passage in Mandarin.

- Password.

- Chestnut.

Where's mother?

I have gymnastics

rehearsal in 27 minutes.

If I'm not there on time,

there'll be hell to pay.

After that, you've to escort me home.

I have a test tomorrow, I need to be home

by 7 in order to study for it properly.

If I'm not home by 7 p.m. on

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Shawn Christensen

Shawn Christensen is a musician, filmmaker, and artist. He is a graduate of Pratt Institute, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration and graphic design. Christensen was the frontman of the indie rock band Stellastarr. In 2013, he won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for his 2012 short film Curfew. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Before I Disappear" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 24 May 2022. <>.

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