Portraits of German alcoholics

Portraits of German alcoholics

           Portraits of German alcoholics
               Genre: Documentary
               Alcoholics, Berlinale 2010, Alcoholism
  “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 their alcohol consumption, which is slowly but then turned to the big problem for him. The lawyer has been in the study started drinking to withstand the test pressure better. The anesthesia assistant drinks because her everything will be something easier. However, it is increasingly difficult over the years to integrate all their secret addiction to the “normalcy” of their middle-class 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 remain anonymous. They are present only on the soundtrack, which is not because that the interviewees were afraid to tell her story even before the camera. The director, she 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 moralizing. She is interested in but for supposedly cure societal surface under which the secret drinking – often with the aim to better function within this society – is taking place. She manages, with remarkable consistency of formal cinematic to bring the taboo topic from the corner and the middle to root in society. Ten interviews she conducted for her film, and it has the people to phone each preliminary visits only once with a tape recorder and has their story could be told. Extracts from six of these interviews are incorporated in the film. The people tell of themselves, what they want to reveal of himself. And that is often astonishing amount. Candid report of the affected their survival and Verbergungsstrategien lists, which are evidence in their creativity and absurdity of a tremendous pressure to try to preserve intact the image of itself as a functioning part of society. This is often a surprisingly long time “good”, the environment does not get anything with – or the alcoholic thinks this is mostly because he is never addressed directly to his problem. It often takes a long time to be with the person affected at all developed an awareness and the hard-self-maintained falters. The six protagonists have all long since reached that point. In their stories, each woven together, but in chronological order in each case is assembled, they sound partially dissociates almost as if they themselves do not quite could, to which effort and self-deception, they were able to have the appearance of normality over the years to preserve. The interviews form the starting point of the foundation. To the next level consists of visual images of private and public spaces. The combination with the stories created to strengthen and friction, which opens a wide space for associations. Dense and oppressive, for example, are the moments when the camera is slow to explore the rooms of a house, during talks about the off the voice of the housewife in detail by their very “normal” everyday suchtbestimmten. In many static images and slow pans over public spaces, workplaces, village streets, train stations, landscapes, factory buildings and airports it manages Carolin Schmitz, the attention to a blind spot among the familiar to guide surface. For the soundtrack the intact surface of the all too familiar everyday world is suddenly cracks in the perception of the viewer. With the images of an airport runway or an operating room in this context of course work much more than an endless pan across a forest landscape. Nevertheless, even such seemingly 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.) Distribution: GMfilms

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