Have you ever known anyone who had everything going for them?
Smart, funny, good-looking, from a well-to-do family… My brother Cédric had everything going for him. But by the time he got out of high school, he was addicted to
drugs and alcohol. And by 35, he was dead…
Now, years later, I shudder at the possibility of reliving the same nightmare with my 10 year old daughter, even if I’m an optimistic person.
I needed reassurance. I wanted to understand how to educate my daughter and protect her. How to make her responsible, without scaring her or making her feel guilty.
A family-focused film
Films which deal with drug addiction generally focus on the users or on former addicts.
My personal story has led me to look at things from a different point of view.
Following the road less travelled, I went to meet the brothers and sisters of addicts. Siblings, to whom questions are rarely asked. Siblings who are often very close to, and even the privileged confidants of the dependent person. An approach only focused on family.
It was a long road before I could come to terms with my own anxieties, and go to meet these siblings in 2019-2020…
When reality is stranger than fiction
In January 2012, I started co-writing a feature-length screenplay inspired by my family story: my brother’s addiction on one hand, and my blindness on the other.
The main objection to our finished version in 2014 was: “The story of a drug addict and a blind person is too much.” The same objections were raised by some of the ‘big’ publishers for a book project…
As a director once said to me: “Reality is sometimes stranger than fiction.”
However, I’ve always believed that our family story provides an interesting parallel: between a so-called ‘chosen’ situation on one hand, and an ‘imposed’ one, on the other. It enables us to question what lies behind addiction, and to no longer see the “drug-user” as a delinquent.
I bounced back to produce, with my own means, a documentary that gives a voice to those who are rarely heard: the brothers and sisters.
An offbeat way of looking at the way we perceive addiction.
Maybe the time has come for this approach…