A SUMMER IN THE CAGE is filmmaker Ben Selkow's feature-length documentary chronicling his friend Sam's battle with manic-depressive illness, also known as bipolar disorder. The film follows Sam for six years as he suffers delusional manic episodes, battles paralyzing depressions, and tries to escape the legacy of his father. By showing the difficult emotional impact of being bipolar on Sam, his family, and the filmmaker, A SUMMER IN THE CAGE hopes to put a human face on an illness that affects millions of American families. But as this dramatic story unfolds, it also becomes a unique tale about friendship and the ethical responsibilities of a documentary filmmaker. The intent was to make a film about successfully living with, and managing, a mental illness. Throughout the process and when the Hollywood ending proves too elusive, the filmmaker and the subject are forced to ask themselves, "When do you turn off the camera?"
“A Summer in the Cage is an exceptional and deeply humanizing look at
bipolar disorder. The result is a haunting film about the power and the limits of a
friendship to save a good man from his inner demons."
- Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone
"I highly recommend A Summer in the Cage. It is an extraordinary film: powerful,
affecting and honest.”
- Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, Professor of Psychiatry, John Hopkins University
Author of An Unquiet Mind
"This beautifully shot, six-year odyssey is profound and sincere…the result is a
haunting and riveting personal tale of a descent into mental illness."
- Sam Mettler, Creator and Executive Producer, A&E's Intervention
2009 Honorable Mention, Voice Awards
2009 Winner, Mental Health America Media Documentary Award
2008 Nomination, Prism Award for Bipolar Disorder Depiction
Produced, Photographed & Directed by: Ben Selkow
Edited by: John Mims
Written by: Ben Selkow & John Mims
Executive Producer: Paola Freccero
Original Music by: Hajo Carl
Associate Producer: Joedan Okun
US TV Distributor: Sundance Channel
Digital Rights: Cinetic Rights Management (CRM)
Educational Distributor: Films for the Humanities & Sciences
Fiscal Sponsor: International Documentary Association (IDA)
Legal: Jerry Dasti, SlossLawCo.
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