Synopsis: I Drink is a film made entirely by two recovering alcoholics, Peter M McAuley and Jim Sheden. The two of them realized that in recovery circles they are privy to deeply honest and courageous stories by recovery bring alcoholics and drug addicts. Sharing these stories is the cornerstone of recovery for many individuals, but most people only have the benefit of hearing them once they’ve hit rock bottom and sought out the help of fellow sufferers. By bringing these stories to the screen, this feature-length documentary hopes to communicate to other people who may be suffering, or who have people in their lives who are suffering that they are not alone that there is a way out of hell. Unlike in most other films the subjects are all in recovery and there are no experts – medical, psychiatric, social, legal – just the voices of those in recovery.
The movie alternates between talking head footage and location shots, so that one goes from poignant storhytelling to footage of the city, some of it obviously connected to drinking and using some of it more impressionistic.
Music by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams, the Grateful Dead, Amy Millan, and others is woven through the film, helping to create a sense of melancholia and even nostalgia of the ex-drinker and ex-addict.
The stories alcoholics and addicts share in 12-step meetings are life-changing and life-saving.
Jim Shedden is a curator of interdisciplinary exhibition at the Art of Ontario, including the forthcoming I AM HERE: Home Movies and Everyday Masterpieces, Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters (2017).He’s also responsible for the AGO’s publishing arm, having produced over 50 catalogues and other publications. Shedden has directed films on the artists Michael Snow (1996) Stan Brakhage (1998) as well as I Drink (2014) a documentary on addiction and Music Swims Back to Me (2021). Shedden has written extensively on music, film, video, art and design, published dozens of zines and small press publications and has been involved in the DIY and artist-run scenes in Toronto since the early 1980’s. Shedden is co-editing a book on Canadian experimental film for Goose Lane Editions (forthcoming, 2021).
Peter McAuley is a Visual Effets Supervisor and Editor with 32 years of experience in the industry. Peter edited the feature documentary film The Jeff Healey Band: See the Light. Peter also edited several films for the 1988 Pink Floyd Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour while traveling on the road with the band. Last year, Peter worked as the VFX supervisor on a series of films that are part of the 2012 Rush Clockwork Abngels world tour. Peter is a recovering alcoholic.