So I got a late jump on this year's Cleveland International Film Festival, and only saw one film today, but once again found myself taken by the sheer energy from the mass amounts of people who made their way down to Tower City today to catch a flick. The film I caught today in a packed theater was called "Of Two Minds", and was a documentary following four people with bipolar disorder, which was then followed by an informative panel discussion involving the filmmakers, a local specialist with the disorder, and two members of local mental health communities. Here is my review:
In the most elemental description, bipolar can be defined as a brain disease characterized by cycles of heightened mania followed those of deep, stifling depression. Although millions of Americans are afflicted with manic depression, and it is more than likely that a loved one suffers from the illness, a major social stigma is still attached to the disease. "Of Two Minds" follows four people diagnosed with bipolar disorder over an extended period as we witness their struggles and progressions with the disease. Directed by Doug Blush and Lisa Klein, the film is an insightful look into the misunderstood affliction. While I enjoyed the first hand approach taken by the filmmakers, I think the film would have also benefited from more of a professional input delving deeper into causes, symptoms, and treatments for the disease. Still, "Of Two Minds" informally addresses an all too often misconstrued disorder and does so with intelligence and warmth.