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Touched with Fire offers a moving take on a love affair


Executive produced by Spike Lee, Touched with Fire, is a unique love story concerning two poets with bipolar disorder who meet in a treatment facility, their chemistry together instant. Vendetta Films is releasing the drama on DVD December 7.

Starring Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby, this dramatic feature from first time writer-director Paul Dalio asks questions about the nature of love and delusion and how the two inform each other according to self-perception and environmental pressures. Loosely based on Kay Redfield Jamison's book Touched with Fire: Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, the film circles the theme that many examples of great art have been produced from bipolar afflictions.

After meeting in a group therapy session Carla (Holmes) and Marco (Kirby) bond over a shared conviction that they are aliens from another planet. She aligns herself with the sun; he obsesses over the moon. Soon they pursue a relationship outside of the confines of the institution leading to new challenges. While their passion breaks outside of the bounds of sanity, swinging them from fantastical highs to tormented lows they ultimately must choose between sanity and love as their parents and unpredictable circumstances all work to keep them apart.

“Holmes is the real treasure,” raves the Huffington Post. “She captures a gravitas that hopefully flags the second coming of her film career.”

Joe Leydon at Variety concurs. “Holmes and Kirby manoeuvre through the vertiginous mood swings of their characters with a nimble sure-footedness that commands respect and compels empathy. They are achingly credible, both collectively and as a team, and they deftly balance each other.”