“There’s more to family than what you see.”
Many times there’s more to a movie than what you expected to see…
If you read the reviews, both from critics and moviegoers, for the movie Black or White you might be tempted not to see this movie. But the quote you see above ‘there’s more to family than what you see’ is so true and befits this movie, as the trailer would never give you the impression that alcoholism and addiction are part of the storyline.
Today’s post is not a review of Black or White, but about how movies have a unique way of quietly and subtly opening our eyes. And there is one scene in Black or White which could serve as a wake-up call for many a mother who, as one critic commented about one mother in the movie, is unable ‘to see fault in her own child even when it’s staring her in the face (while literally holding a crack pipe).’
Films about alcoholism can be fascinating
A week or so ago we came across an article titled “20 Fascinating Films About Alcoholism.” It is an interesting read and it shares with the reader some really compelling films that date back to the 1940s and 1950s, like The Lost Weekend (1945) and Something to Live For (1952). And the list would not be complete without including Days of Wine and Roses (1962) which was released on December 26, 1962.
While all 20 films are fascinating, how one views each movie is impacted by their own life experience. And that life experience can be one the viewer is dealing with or trying desperately to ignore.
One of the films that made the top 20 was Smashed (2012). The New York Times reviewer Stephen Holden eloquently stated what we come to expect from movies about addiction, most particularly alcoholism:
Dramas about alcoholism and recovery have little room to maneuver between two basic stories: one of resilience and regeneration, the other ending in self-destruction. How good they are depends on the degree of truthfulness they convey about a subject that was once shrouded in secrecy and shame but is now a reality-television staple. Alcohol addiction may not seem to be the big deal that it once was, except that it often remains a matter of life and death.
Both Smashed and Days of Wine and Roses deal with what can happen to a couple when one gets sober and the other doesn’t. Addiction is a family disease and as in 1962 Joe and Kristen struggled as a couple, so did Charlie and Kate in 2012. The story goes on…
Will you watch the 2015 Academy Awards?
On February 22, 2015, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will meet in Los Angeles (Hollywood) to present the Academy Awards. It’s always an interesting telecast to watch, particularly if you enjoy going to the movies or watching films via television or Netflix. Like almost every other year there are nominated movies that deal with alcoholism, drug addiction or other mental health issues. To name a few:
- American Sniper (PTSD & Alcohol Abuse)
- Boyhood (Alcoholism)
- Whiplash (Anxiety and Depression)
- Wild (Opioid addiction and Alcohol Abuse)
- Birdman (Addiction and Alcoholism)
- Two Days One Night (Depression)
Writers, producers, directors and actors from around the world are always willing to turn a critical eye on the disease of addiction and mental health disorders. Perhaps that’s because at least 25% of the population deal with the disease of addiction and most people know someone whose life is affected by addiction and/or mental health disorders.
Movies as teaching tools
As a society we yearn for teachable moments. Not everyone’s life is naturally filled with those kinds of moments. But movies give us the opportunity to take a break, sit in a comfortable seat, and with the lights dimmed we can privately absorb teachable story-lines.
As the late film critic and a 30+ year member of Alcoholics Anonymous Roger Ebert once said when talking about cinema, it is “a machine that generates empathy…it lets you understand hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears…”
It is not unusual to have an aha moment at the movies.
Family Recovery Specialists (FRS) understand family dynamics
At FRS our first meeting will consist of an evaluation where we will discuss your history, concerns and understand your personal goals. This may involve a meeting with your family so that we may gather more information and understand your issues from a different perspective.
We will always respect your privacy but we also know how important family support is in the recovery process. We will make a recommendation that is based on all the information obtained, utilizing our extensive experience and expertise. We want to give you the best chance of meeting your goals and securing a life free from alcohol and other drugs. Family Recovery Specialists in Miami, Florida will outline a plan that gives you or your loved one the best possible chance for recovery.
We meet you where you are in the addiction recovery process and work to find the best solution for you.