Circular Insanity

— emotions of a bipolar person

[2018] How can something be made understandable that is beyond the average reality experience of most people? Circular Insanity is an attempt to answer this question and to translate the states of bipolar disorder (euthymia, mania and depression) into cinematic images that, without being explanatory, give the viewer an insight into the inner life of bipolar people and make their emotional world tangible in image and sound.

Circular Insanity is not trying to evoke pity but rather attempts to enable the viewer to understand the confusing, somehow scaring, but ever so relevant topic of mental health through empathy, focusing on the human behind the disorder rather than schooling the viewer about the symptoms.

The aim is to promote awareness through empathy and to contribute to the reduction of stigmas towards bipolar disorder, but also towards neurodivergence in general.


experimental short film
Bachelor Media Design, 2018

Prof. Herbert Moser
Prof. Dr. Holger Lund

Best Creative Film — SHORTS 2019
Gold — Young Comprix 2023


In the manic, as well as in the depressive episode, the persons affected by bipolar disorder experience emotional extremes, which are mostly unfamiliar to most people in their drasticness and arbitrariness. The alternation between the extremes, detached from the fragile state of normality, is something that seems understandable in theory, but mental illnesses, which are often a taboo subject in today's meritocracy, are largely hushed up because of the stigma and fear of otherness or are seen as a weakness of character. There is often an uninformed ignorance towards the non-understood mental condition of the other person. There is a need for awareness-raising here, especially when considering how many people are affected.
In Germany, this is 2.8% of the male population and 3.1% of the female population. [1]


Based on a standardized and simplified process of the disorder, six filmic chapters were defined.


For each of these six phases, visual worlds were developed on the basis of interviews with affected persons and material collected in literature research on the self-perception of affected persons, which were then combined into the overall audio-visual piece.


Circular Insanity does not aspire to scientifically explain what Bipolar Disorder is, nor does it aim to evoke pity for the people affected. The aim is to convey a feeling for this multifaceted illness, to allow the viewer to experience it through empathy, and to stimulate sustained reflection.