Daytime Tiger is the result of an invitation from prolific NZ writer and poet Michael Morrissey, for film-maker Costa Botes to come into his home and document his struggle with manic depression.
Morrissey was determined to demonstrate how, through willpower, he was able to use the tempests of his bipolar illness to creative advantage.
In the resultant film, which Botes produced, directed, shot and edited, Morrissey raves – at Botes and his hand held camera, at his long-suffering wife Anne – extolling his own brilliance (“we are the ultimate geniuses, Jimi Hendrix and I”) while resorting to physical violence with a machete when words are not enough. Later, astonished at what he saw of himself in Botes’ rivetting film, Morrissey finally agreed he needed the calming influence of medication.
While not an easy watch, Daytime Tiger holds up a fascinating and very sobering mirror to the destructiveness of untreated bipolar disorder, while at the same time offering a glimpse into how hard-won positive change can greatly increase a person’s potential for happiness.
Helen Martin (Journal of World Cinema - Australia & NZ Vol.2)