Documentary: A Bipolar Expedition

Mark James’ film, produced for the UK’s Channel 4 ‘True Stories strand’, follows Paul Downes, a successful businessman with bipolar disorder. The film centres on the protagonists quest for a wife; this he does by hiring a lavish castle in Jamaica, inviting 12 Ukrainian women to join him, all in the hope that one will marry him.

James follows Paul on this outlandish trip to Jamaica which in the process yields a rare insight into the nature of Paul’s bipolar disorder.  Its origins are explored, as are the impacts the manias and depressions have had on his life.

However the most extraordinary aspect of the film is watching Paul in the grip of an extended manic episode and how this radically altered his behaviour.

Downes’ psychiatrist also gives an excellent overview of what bipolar disorder is and how it manifests itself.

All-in-all, a film is well worth watching!

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