“A Moment of Clarity”: Art, Bipolar Disorder, and Courage

I’ve just learned about a wonderful new documentary called A Moment of Clarity.  I had a long conversation with its producer, Kevin Cullen, and the hope for  this wonderful movie is the same as for Ben Behind His Voices: To reduce stigma, promote understanding, honor the talent and courage of those with mental health issues by focusing on one human story, and share their family’s experience as well. Check it out! There is a preview on the homepage, and the movie will be available for screenings to interested audiences. Contact Kevin Cullen for more information.

The story, according to the website, is this:

“A Moment of Clarity” is an intimate documentary providing true insight into the world of bipolar disorder told through the life and art of emerging painter Isti Kaldor.(Pronounced: Ish-tea)

Having aspirations of touching people’s lives by attending medical school and becoming a

Moment of Clarity
Isti and His Amazing Art

physician was always his goal. Life however, had other plans. At the age of 19, during his sophomore year of college in Boone, NC, Isti suffered his first manic break and was diagnosed bipolar by the attending psychiatrist at Duke University Hospital.

Continuing to attend school in the midst of making sense of a new reality, he suffered another misfortune. A kayaking accident left him with a broken back. Then, the most devastating loss of all came when his mother, Stefi, lost her battle with lung cancer.

Reeling from his emotional devastation, an unexpected and wonderful thing occurred. Hospitalized during a manic period at UNC Hospital, Isti started to paint. Never having painted prior to his manic break, something in his mind was awoken the results of which were evident in the dynamic expression of his artwork.

11 years and 13 manic episodes later (four of which have occurred during the filming of this documentary), Isti, along with the help of his family, doctors and friends has endured. He has endured by living through what some would consider hell and has arrived at an unforeseen destination. A place where he can finally do what he dreamed of years ago. Touch peoples lives.

“A Moment of Clarity” is his story…

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2 thoughts on ““A Moment of Clarity”: Art, Bipolar Disorder, and Courage

  1. I am 56 yrs old and an accomplished Surreal Artist and have been Bipolar since I was 17. I had been creating art and writing poetry since I wad 14. I had 8 complete episodes while in college because I kept quitting my lithium due to the side effects and thinking I didn’t need it anymore. I was engaging in very risky behavior (a police chase, hitchhiking from TX to CA and back) or until I ended up in jail and then the hospital thanks to my Mother who always saved my life…Finally I decided to stay on my lithium and became stable.

    I had a BA in Psych and worked in Mental Health (group homes) from 1983 until 2005. It was mostly part time since full time caused episodes and I have been on Disabity since 1983.

    From 1990 until 2000 I had an “art attack” and would paint and draw about 20 hours a day. I did some part time Mental Health Work.

    Please check out my Surreal Art at http://SAMurrayART.com which includes “Cute animals and Expressive Art at http://SylviART.com.

    I would be honored if you decided to do a documentary about me… You can see a You-Tube video about how my illness affects my art if you go to You-Tube and put “SylviAnn Murray” in the search box. There is also a long interview about me “The Visionary Art of SylviAnn Murray” that is being sold on Amazon.com,
    althought I imagine you can find it on Google.

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