As a child, Frankie Mack (Kevin McKidd) is confronted with two pathways in life, relating back to his ambivalent feelings for his father. Faced with this swaggering man, a womanizer and a drinker, Frank is torn between rejection and unconscious imitation. From then on, he continually vacillates between a desire for self-control and stability, and giving in to hatred and mistrust, a legacy of his painful experience of betrayal. His first precocious glass of alcohol drags him in to a dangerous violent direction, which continues throughout his adulthood…

“16 Years of Alcohol” explores one man’s battle against the social and psychological ravages of alcoholism. The film is split into three sections: Frankie’s troubled childhood, his violent adolescence as a ska-loving skinhead who commands a small gang, and a period of change, in which Frankie tries to believe in hope and love. The backdrop of historic Edinburgh set the feeling and environment in which we see Frankie´s violent demise as a human being and the resurrection that still ends with his past catching up with him. It´s a balance between hope and hopelessness in his life, and the end is left open to the viewer. I saw “16 Years of Alcohol” some years ago, and re-seeing it now doesn´t change my opinion about this movie. It´s such a strong and emotional story that goes through the screen. The homage to “A Clockwork Orange” is done in a great way and I do love the voice-over from Kevin McKidd and the philosophical narrative. Kevin McKidd is excellent as Frankie Mack and the beautiful Laura Fraser as Helen is a great counterpart to Frankie. The soundtrack adds to the storyline as well. (4 out of 5)

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