"Alkohol" is a co-production between Germany and Italy from 2019. The long title is "Alkohol - Der globale Rausch" and this means "the global intoxication", even if the word "Rausch" sounds slightly more positive I would say than "intoxication". The official English-language title is also different, namely "ALCOHOL - The Magic Potion" and this also does not sound too negative, so it may be an alright choice. Not sure what's up with the capitalization though. The language here is a mix between English and German mostly, so if you are not fluent in one of these two, then you may keep an eye out for subtitles or go for a dubbed version. Italian language is also featured in here, but really not too frequent at all. Just one or two interviewees I think and it's not too surprising, even if it is an Italian co-production. At easily under 1.5 hours, this is also not a long documentary by any means. The writer and director is Andreas Pilcher. The name sounds German and this is again not a surprise because the man is from Trentino-Alto Adige, that part of Italy where they speak German and this maybe also includes the aforementioned fact that this is at least partially an Italian movie. As for Pichler, he is in his early 50s now, even if he looks younger on the imdb photo and he started making movies very early in the new millennium, so has been prolific in the industry for almost 20 years now too. And he usually writes his own films, this one here is no exception. So far, it's been only documentaries. I wonder if one day he will also come up with a live action film. Alright, so much for the basics. I already mentioned the year when this came out, so it is still a fairly new movie. Depending on how long you need to get here and read this review of mine, it could possibly change.
The subject is mentioned in the title. It's the German spelling, which may have to do with the filmmaker's origins, but it still surprises me a bit that English is listed as first language here on imdb, even if it is a bit close between English and German and one would probably really have to use a stopwatch to make a final decision what is used more frequently here. But it's not that important anyway. It's still a good watch. I think I will just do some brainstorming and get down to "paper" some of the stuff that felt most memorable to me here. First of all, I was pretty shocked by the amount of ten liters that apparently every German drinks per year and with that I don't meen ten liters of beer, but ten liters of alcohol and if you take a look at how low the percentage is in most beverages, you know how much this is. And yes you can add to that indeed the babies and children that don't drink and also most of the very old people that don't drink either. So the real amount is maybe 15 liters in fact if we only look at those that are allowed to drink alcohol. Okay, maybe a bit under. I think there was a nice structure in this movie. It started with different occasions where people drink and we got some opinions by all kinds of people with a specific connection to alcohol. Experts, scientists, people like you and me. Healthy balance I'd say. There's some who are in favor and other who are more critical. Also good choices there. If we take those in favor, the guy from the military felt actually pretty smart about the whole matter, even if I do not support his key message that alcohol itself is not the issue. The young woman early on who just wants to get drunk to have fun not so much. She was certainly more embarrassing, also with the muscle flexing moment maybe. But she is of course representative of the vast majority of people that regularly drink alcohol, so her inclusion makes sense too, even if I felt a bit ashamed that she was German.
The one most memorable from the other side was a blonde woman who talks about the kind of terrible impact alcohol had on her life. She is not super specific or anything, but what she had to say made sense and also made a bit of an impact, for example when she talks about how her family and friends were suffering and anxious every time she went out to drink and how she drunk really hard at times, much harder then the people she was with and that she had no intention to leave before she was really intoxicated. I was not too sure if I liked her inclusion early on, but the more screen time she got, the more vital she felt for this documentary. Pilcher clearly knew what he was doing here and his experience shows, so a bit sad that he has not received any awards recognition for his work here. I think that also away from the mere contents, technically this is a good film with some of the editing etc. My own opinion on alcohol by the way is also very skeptical. I don't drink it myself because I don't want to. I also ran in some disbelief for that, so I can relate a bit to the voice-over from the director/narrator very early on and also to how he concludes in the end. I still think, will power is a good thing there. If there is any evidence needed, look at those numbers presented at the very end how many people died from other causes and how these figures compare to alcohol. Shocking and makes it really questionable for me why it is still legal. I mean of course it would be a punishment to those who know when to stop drinking and for whom it is not a problem and those are millions and millions of people too, but maybe it is a punishment worth accepting for the millions of lives being saved this way. And I don't just mean those who die, but also those who lose their jobs, partners, homes even. There's definitely more than enough out there.
On a funnier note, I was pretty amazed to see one of the expert scientists here being named Harvey Milkman, not only because milkman is generally a kinda funny name, but of course also linked to the character for which Sean Penn received his second Oscar. The politician active in San Francisco for the gay rights movement back then. Okay, but now back to this one here. What else can be added? I liked the film for the most part, sometimes, mostly becaue of the message, even loved it. Towards the end, it really turned into an anti-alcohol documentary here and there is no way one can say that it didn't. Especially those words about the filmmaker himself and his plans to be with his buddies and not drink make it obvious. As if he considers the idea early on and this movie is his confrontation with the subject all in all. His process of the mind and his way to a conclusion. I must say that during the middle part I lost interest a bit, so if there is anything I would change with this movie, then maybe I'd be going for minutes 40 to 60 or so. But it's not bad either and probably just my lack of concentration and sleepiness showing up. besides, it wasn't bad or anything, just not as good as all before and after that because those parts were on a really high level. With the interviewees I also liked that they were informative, but did not say things too complicated overall, so this was really the right mixture all in all. One example would be the context difference between alcohol and candlelight with your significant other compared to alcohol with your unit during wartime and it could be the exact same brand of beer or wine or whatever and the differences would be major nonetheless.
In the end, there is focus on Iceland and we find out about measures introduced with the goal to keep the young especially away from alcohol for as long as it is possible. Felt right and also a good idea to get this in at the end of the film because it was the closest you could get in terms of feel-good closure for a film like this. By the way, very telling that, with the exception of Carlsberg, not a single alcohol manufacturer wanted to talk to the filmmaker(s) here. There is another statement that they are willing to contribute to health and fight alcoholism, but really only if it means that their sales are not affected. Which is pretty absurd by the way because higher sales figures mean more alcoholics obviously. So really ironic such a statement and definitely not in a positive way. Probably I am biased with the high rating I am handing out for the outcome here because I have seen in my own closest family how alcohol can destroy everything, but the consequence of that is only that I liked the message. Even if my perception and experience were different, I would not really say anything negative here about the theoretical elaborations etc., for example that I think with the interviewees they got iet exactly right. I have to dig deep here for moments I did not like. I think the reference to prostitution being connected directly to alcoholism could have received better elaboration and sometimes the body awareness exercises also felt a bit random here for my taste. But these really small criticisms will under no circumstances have an impact here on me saying that this is a contender for best documentary of 2019. Highly recommended and this one is really criminally underseen. You need to change that. I am glad it was on television today, especially because two weeks ago or so it had to make room for some other program on current events unexpectedly. If you got the chance to watch, then don't miss out. At least here in Germany, it will probably air on several occasions in the coming years.
Action / Documentary
Action / Documentary
Alcohol: No substance in the world seems so familiar to us and is so incredibly diverse in its effect. Alcohol is available everywhere and this particular molecule has the power to affect all 200 billion neurons of our human brain in completely different ways. But hardly anyone calls alcohol a drug despite its psychoactive and cell-destroying effect. Why do we tolerate the death of three million people every year? Have we turned a blind eye to the dangers and risks for thousands of years? What role does the powerful alcohol industry play with an annual turnover of 1.2 trillion euros in this on-going concealment? The author, who himself enjoys having a drink, looks into the question why we drink at all, what alcohol does to us and to what extent the alcohol industry influences society and politics. He travels around the world from Germany via England to Nigeria to detect aggressive trading practices of the global alcohol industry seeking growth in new markets at all costs. He also visits Iceland, which successfully made the turnaround: Where 20 years ago hordes of drunks roamed the streets, young people today master their need for relaxation and life stimulants without alcohol. The film has no intention to point a moral finger but nevertheless will significantly change the drinking habits of the viewer.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 09, 2021 at 04:22 AM