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The Devil and Daniel Johnston October 25, 2006

Posted by Unreasonable in Matters Cinematic.

This documentary tells the life story of Daniel Johnston. He’s an artist/musician with bipolar disorder. That means he oscillates between manic episodes of inspired creativity and bouts of severe depression. For me the most intriguing part of the movie is the interaction between Daniel and his parents. It takes his parents many years to understand him and figure out how to deal with him.

Young Daniel JohnstonDaniel Johnston Today

The film makes liberal use of home movies, recordings, and interviews with friends which give it an air of authenticity. It reminds me of a cross between an episode of VH1 Behind the Music and A Beautiful Mind, but it seems to stick more to the truth than A Beautiful Mind did (for instance: in that movie Nash’s wife looks like a hero for sticking with him in spite of his illness, but she really divorced him).

At the end of the movie Daniel’s popularity is increasing. I hope Daniel and his parents get some benefit from the publicity.

::The Devil and Daniel Johnston ::Daniel Johnston’s Website

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