The people at the centre of this film are lawyers, civil servants, housewives, managing directors and mothers. They are also alcoholics. In her documentary, Carolin Schmitz explores the protagonists’ stories and their strategies for survival: the little tricks they employ in order to try and get through their daily lives – lives which become increasingly difficult to manage the stronger the addiction becomes. Their fear of losing control and being exposed as a drinker create their need to conform, but the protagonists can only cope with this pressure by increasing their alcohol intake.
PORTRAITS DEUTSCHER ALKOHOLIKER portrays a battle that cannot be won. The protagonists’ stories oppose, cross and merge with images of an ostensibly model, intact society: housing estates, people at work in factories and offices, in apartments and on the street. The stories of these alcoholics go beyond personal biography and point towards a more general societal problem. This film reveals another reality that lies beneath the supposedly normal veneer, a reality that is suffused by unfulfilled needs.