Ticket of No Return (Bildnis Einer Trinkerin)

Ulrike Ottinger describes her “melodrama” as “The psychograph of two unusual but also highly dissimilar women: one, rather Barefoot Contessa in style; the other, more Nights Of Cabiria.” Both women are drinking themselves to death, the first by conscious choice (“She is the case which doesn't appear in the statistics, either kept at home under Valium or...in a private clinic”); the second unconsciously (“She appears in the standardized statistics as the typical, unreliable female drinker”). Throughout the film - which is divided into “stations” in what amounts to a drinker's sight-seeing tour of Berlin's underside - the two women attempt to meet, but alcohol impedes any comunication. “Expert Opinion” is provided within the film in a chorus of three ladies - “fates in a bureaucratized, technologized, normalized world heavily marked by the mass media.” Their names: Social Questions, Common Sense, and Exact Statistics.

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