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

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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 ... See full summary »

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

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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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"Best Feature Documentary: Honorable Mention" at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival, Boston, MA (2012). See more »

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Informative, deeply personal, and captivating

My Name is Bette is a documentary that is both deeply personal and extremely informative. Sherri VandenAkker tracks her mother's descent into alcohol use and how it affected her own life (as well as the lives of her sister and father). VandenAkker is unsparing but never brutal in her portrayal of her mother's life and alcoholism. The film also presents rich documentation of the effects of alcohol use by women. Weaving together the honest personal story and facts within the framework of visual detail and a surprisingly suspenseful narrative makes this an excellent and captivating documentary. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the family and gender dynamics of alcohol use--as well as anyone who appreciates strongly informative filmmaking with powerful emotional implications.


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