I see the actor/director Ben Affleck has a new film out about the experience of alcoholism and recovery. I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t review it. But from the article, I assume it’s based in part on his own experience. He only recently finished a third stint in rehab. Let’s hope three’s a charm.

Ben Affleck Tackles Alcoholism In Heartbreaking First ‘The Way Back’ Trailer

Going public that soon after treatment is controversial in the addictions field. The director of a program long favored by celebrity patients admitted to me that his staff routinely advised patients to remain anonymous  for two years post completing rehab. “You can see how little attention they pay to us,” he complained.

About the films:  Many of us have seen the Heartbreakers: Days of Wine and Roses/ Lost Weekend / Leaving Las Vegas. All films I managed to admire while secretly wishing I was somewhere else.

I’ve seen several movies about treatment that I thought were reasonably accurate. Clean & Sober, with Michael Keaton. 28 Days, with Sandra Bullock. The Cracker Factory starring Natalie Wood. All included a generous dose of humor along with the melodrama. There’s  a lot of laughter  in the recovery world, mostly at oneself. Believe me, it helps.

There’s actually a TV series called Flaked which I haven’t  seen but is portrayed as a dark comedy about the struggle for recovery:

Will Arnett’s dark comedy ‘Flaked’ about alcohol addiction gets sobering twist

Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far on Foot — this recent film we found both funny and true. Like Drugstore Cowboy on the prescription drug side. A pretty close approximation of what actually happens for many new to recovery, when things  rarely go as planned.

There are a couple decent films about AA. My Name is Bill W. is the television original. I know AA is sometimes accused of being anti- professional, but having been around treatment in the 60s and early 70s, I can vouch for that having an element of self-defense. Horrifying what some well-intentioned psychiatrists wanted to do to alcoholics in those bad old days.

Anyway, a night- or weekend- of viewing makes for a fascinating trip for someone interested in the history of it all. Google the subject for a number of “best” lists, if you’re so inclined.