Portraits German alcoholics

Portraits German alcoholics

Portraits German alcoholics

               Genre: Documentary
               Alcoholics, Berlinale 2010, alcoholism

Behind the facade of everyday life: The middle-class alcoholics

  “If I have no problems, ‘I’m not an alcoholic. And if I’m not an alcoholic, I can drink as much as I want.” The IT specialist and entrepreneur told humorously about his alcohol consumption, which has insidiously become yet to be really big problem for him. The lawyer has already embarked on studies with a drink to the test better able to withstand pressure. The anesthesia assistant drinks because she is everything that bit easier. However, it is increasingly difficult over the years to integrate all their secret addiction to “normality” of bourgeois everyday life. For here there are no fallen out of society lives, but – superficially – “working” members of civil society.

The six people who tell the alcoholics in German Portraits from their alcoholism to remain anonymous. They are present only on the soundtrack, which does not lie in the fact that the interviewees were afraid to tell their story in front of the camera too. The director has not even asked.
For Carolin Schmitz is in her first feature-length documentary not about to give the alcohol as a personal fate of an individual face or moralize. She is interested in but to cure perceived social surface under which the secret drinking – often with the goal of being able to function better within the society – takes place. She succeeds with remarkable filmic formal consistency, the theme from the taboo corner and get situate in the midst of society.

Ten interviews she conducted for her film, where she has people to phone each preliminary visited only once with a tape recorder and has their story to tell. Extracts from six of these interviews are incorporated in the film. People talk about themselves from what they want to reveal about himself. And this is often a surprising amount. Frankly those affected describe their lists and survival Verbergungsstrategien who testify in their creativity and absurdity of a real tremendous pressure, the intact image of itself as a functioning part of society to want to. This is often a surprisingly long time “good”, the environment will not get anything with – or alcoholics, this means mostly because he never directly responded to his problem. Thus, it often takes a long time to be among the interested parties themselves ever developed an awareness of the problem and wished to maintain the hard-self begins to falter. The six protagonists have all reached this point long ago. In their narratives, which are interwoven with each other, but in each case chronologically assembled, they sound like some distant, almost as if they themselves could not quite believe that what they were capable of self-deception and efforts to a semblance of normality over the years to preserve.

The interviews form the starting point of the foundation. The visual to next level consists of images of private and public spaces. By combining with the stories to go to gain and there is friction, which opens a wide space for associations. Dense and oppressive, for example, the moments where the camera is slow to explore the rooms of a house, while off camera voice of a housewife in detail from their normal ‘, “says suchtbestimmten everyday.

In many static pictures and slow pans over public spaces, workplaces, village roads, railways, landscape, factory buildings and airports succeeds Carolin Schmitz, attention to a blind spot among the trusted guide surface. Because the sound level on the intact surface of the everyday world gets suddenly all too familiar cracks in the perception of the viewer. Where do the images of an airport runway or an operating room in this context, of course, much more than an endless-turn on a forest landscape. Nevertheless, even such apparently trivial images create the space for associations and coupling to their own worlds of experience, because the narratives of the protagonists are not just isolated individual stories, they are generalized, they are a social phenomenon.

(Kirsten Kieninger)

Title: Portraits German alcoholics Country of production: Germany Year of production: 2009 Length: 79 (Min)

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