Lars Von Trier talks about films, alcohol and sobriety
Sober Tales Apr 30, 2018
Lars Von Trier talks about films, alcohol and sobriety

Controversial filmmaker Lars Von Trier recently talked about his new film and comeback to Cannes in a candid interview to Denmark TV channel The Louisiana Museum. Trier also talked about his battle with alcoholism and anxiety, and how the filming of the movie “The House That Jack Built,” was a difficult time for him due to his alcohol addiction.

He admitted that drinking is self-medicating and quite effective, but when the alcohol levels drop in the body, anxiety springs up and results in a vicious cycle. He also admitted that though he was in touch with various organizations to attain sobriety, he found it really hard to walk this path. Despite taking alcohol abuse support, he said, he was still struggling with the problem.

Trier also spoke about his need to drink while making a film to get “creative expression of artistic value.” At one point in his life, he couldn’t imagine himself to be working without being under the influence. But now that he is on a quest to get sober, he doesn’t plan to make feature films in near future. Instead, he intends to make short black and white movies by working with the Nordic actors.

In 2011, Trier was banned from the Cannes film festival for seven years for making comments on Hitler by saying “I’m a Nazi.” However, in his interview, he clarified his stand on the whole episode. He debated that during a discussion, when the other person doesn’t give up, one tends to give in but it never meant that he supported any of Hitler’s brutalities. Trier has been awarded Sonning Prize 2018, Denmark’s most revered cultural award.

Alcohol addiction is treatable

During his interview, Trier talked about not wanting to watch any new movies as he fears getting excited or anxious about something that might push him toward heavy drinking again. Even though his habit fueled his need to do better and combat stress of long working hours, it eventually became his weakness. He now feels like “an explorer who has been dropped on a desert island and told to go east.”

Like Trier, alcohol addiction can affect anyone. It’s hard to predict when occasional and social drinking can turn into dependence. But the fact is that regular drinking certainly increases the risk of an addiction. Over time, the negative consequences seep into one’s personal and professional life, hampering routine activities. People start withdrawing themselves from social obligations to avoid those who view their habit as an evil and pass comments. Alcohol abuse disorder also raises the likelihood of indulging in risky behavior like drunk driving, unsafe sexual practices, verbal, physical or sexual abuse, violence and even death. The earliest one recognizes the warning signs, the better could be the life.

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