Carlton Davis, who suffers from bipolar disorder, attempts to get on with his life in Of Two Minds.
OF TWO MINDS (Doug Blush and Lisa Klein). 90 minutes. Opens Friday (March 1). For venues and times, see listings. Rating: NNN
There's a good chance you know someone with bipolar disorder - millions suffer with it. There's also a good chance that many who have bipolar disorder don't know it. For those unfamiliar with the condition that causes rapid mood shifts from mania to depression, Of Two Minds is a fine introduction.
The doc focuses on three charming and astute individuals who speak candidly about their history: the moods they experience, the severe (sometimes suicidal) actions they have taken because of it, how they attempt a "normal" life and the assumptions people make about their mental state.
Like Liz Spikol, who turned her struggle into a column for the Philadelphia Weekly, these people are among the hopeful examples who've grappled with the disorder and moved forward. The documentary also briefly introduces more extreme cases, like co-director Lisa Klein's own sister, whose suicide inspired the project.
While getting close to its subjects, Of Two Minds also gets distracted by their personal lives, as if in search of filler. We don't need every detail about their romances and flings, or curious asides about a donut shop that names its treats after mental illnesses.
Such diversions keep the film from digging deeper into bipolar disorder, merely scratching the surface of what should be its main focus.