By bp Magazine August 22, 2016
This list of documentary films weaves together courageous stories of people with bipolar disorder with discoveries in the fields of neuroscience and genetics which over the years have paved the way to better understanding.
Kissed by God is a film about bipolar disorder and opioid
addiction as seen through the life of three-time world champion surfer
Andy Irons. The pride of Hawaii and revered for his blue collar rise to
fame and success, Andy was known as the “People’s Champion” throughout
the world. However, many people were unaware of his internal struggle
with drug use, omnipresent in the multibillion-dollar surf industry. As
the opioid crisis rises to a national emergency in the United States,
the untold story of Andy’s life serves to tear down the myths associated
with substance abuse and bipolar disorder. Watch the trailer.
This film tells the story of highly accomplished individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder, including former congressman Patrick Kennedy,
attorney Terri Cheney and cartoonist Ellen Forney. It seeks to find out
where the biological breakdowns occur and how we can possibly preempt,
fix or rewire our brains back to recovery. Watch the trailer.
Of Two Minds explores the extraordinary lives, struggles and successes of three unique and compelling people living with bipolar disorder.
Their journey, from the painful to the painfully funny, opens an
engaging and perception-changing view on those all around us who live in
bipolar’s shadows … our sisters and brothers, parents and friends, and
ourselves. Watch the trailer.
Up/Down depicts the reality of living with bipolar disorder by showing the delicate balancing act between euphoria and depression.
The honest and detailed interviews shine a light on the varied
experiences found in the bipolar spectrum from those with a diagnosis,
their family members and psychiatric professionals. Watch the trailer.
Over the span of seven years, the filmmaker chronicles his friend
Sam’s battle with manic depression and delusions. By depicting the
difficult emotional impact of bipolar, the intent of A Summer In The Cage
was to further the public’s understanding of the complexities of living
with this illness. But as the dramatic story unfolds, it also becomes a
unique tale about friendship and the ethical responsibilities of a
documentary filmmaker. Watch the trailer.
This two-part television documentary features British actor and
comedian Stephen Fry. It explores the effects of living with bipolar
disorder on other celebrities and members of the public. Watch the trailer.
This documentary takes us on an abstract, colorful journey into the troubled life of songwriter/artist Daniel Johnston. Watch the trailer.
This episode of the popular TV series, Biography, documents Patty Duke’s life before and after her bipolar disorder diagnosis. Among those commenting: sons, Mackenzie and Sean Astin, husband Michael Pearce and director Arthur Penn. Watch the first 10 minutes.