Thursday February 18, 2016

Touched With Fire explores beauty, struggle of bipolar love

Paul Dalio says the human spirit isn’t satisfied with just getting by, or "with going through hell for nothing." That doesn't change with a bipolar diagnosis.

Paul Dalio says the human spirit isn’t satisfied with just getting by, or "with going through hell for nothing." That doesn't change with a bipolar diagnosis. (40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks)

Listen 22:54

"Psychotic highs and suicidal lows." That's how Paul Dalio, director of the new film Touched With Fire, describes his personal struggle with bipolar disorder. 

Dalio, who also wrote, edited and composed the music for the film, wants to shift our perspectives on people who share his diagnosis. The director joins Shad to take outsiders deeper into the experience and to explore the tension between medication and creativity — a theme he explores in the film.

In it, Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby play two lovers who meet while hospitalized. The film explores their journey towards each other as they "go back and forth between heaven and hell". 

"I just wanted to create something that wasn't preachy — just truthful," he tells Shad. 

WEB EXTRA | Dalio says the perspective-shifting book Touched With Fire by Kay Redfield Jamison was the inspiration  and catalyst for the movie. "It was the first book about bipolar that wasn't clinical ... it gave me an identity that I could hold on to that was redeeming." Learn more about the book here

Plus, watch the trailer for the the film below.