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My Name Was Bette: The Life and Death of an Alcoholic (2011)

A documentary about women's alcoholism chronicles the progression of the disease in Bette VandenAkker-a nurse, wife, and mother-who died in the fall of 2007. Filmmakers Sherri ... See full summary »
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A documentary about women's alcoholism chronicles the progression of the disease in Bette VandenAkker-a nurse, wife, and mother-who died in the fall of 2007. Filmmakers Sherri VandenAkker-Bette's daughter-and Josh WE Hays employ interviews, family photographs, medical records, and court documents to provide a personal and detailed look at the physical, emotional, and mental toll of alcoholism. The film examines women's risk factors for developing alcoholism and relapsing from sobriety; depicts the physiological damage women suffer from drinking, due in part to their hormones; and explores the stigma, guilt and shame the prevent women from seeking timely treatment. The film also offers hope to those affected by the disease who seek to heal their pain and strained relationships. Written by Anonymous

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23 March 2011 (USA)  »

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$10,750 (estimated)
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1.33 : 1
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"Best Feature Documentary: Honorable Mention" at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival, Boston, MA (2012). See more »

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One of the best and most poignant documentaries ever made on alcoholism
18 November 2014 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

With a remarkable talent, courage and generosity, Sherri VandenAkker became a first time filmmaker who brings to light a reality that is dismissed by our society. In the United States, the most socially acceptable way to cope with stress and depression is the use of alcohol. Physicians and health care professionals know (or are supposed to know) that alcohol is a CNS depressant. However, when a person is under alcohol influence, it feels just like the opposite! Women are much more vulnerable than men to the destructive effects of alcohol. The shame and guilt of women who drink, is frequently covered by their denial, hence the taboo of Female Alcoholism.

Unfortunately, the vicious cycle between depression and alcoholism, like the egg and hen, over a lifetime can snowball into a complete disaster of what was once the life of somebody who, like Bette, a skillful nurse had it "all": A beautiful gifted mother of two adorable daughters, who was full of life and intelligence.

This one hour documentary is a must see for everybody who like "booze" or has a friend(s) or family member(s) who are "enjoy" it too much. Therefore, a documentary for each one of us.

Written and directed by Sherri Vandenakker, the youngest of Bette's two daughters, "MY NAME WAS BETTE" is one of the best and most poignant documentaries ever made on alcoholism. Furthermore it specifically addresses the taboo topic of female alcoholism. The film confronts the audience to the indescribable shock that Sherri, a professor of literature at the School of Human Services at Spingfield College in Boston, faced the day of her tenth marriage anniversary in 2007.


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