Synopsis by Mark Deming
Documentary filmmaker Jonathan Berman takes a personal look at a childhood friend who took a somewhat different path in his career: he's a bank robber. Near the end of a ten-year stretch in prison, Berman's buddy Paul talks on-camera about his youth and what led to his life in crime; Paul (who's last name is never mentioned) is charismatic and very talkative, but he's also edgy and obviously not very stable. After his release, Paul pays a visit to Jonathan in Manhattan (which violates the conditions of his parole) and hangs out with his old buddies, who are torn between their desire to help a friend and their understandable need to keep at arm's length from someone with the potential to be dangerous and unstable. My Friend Paul was shown in 1999 at the Slamdance and South By Southwest film festivals.
life-of-crime, friendship, bank-robbery, manic-depressive, mental-illness, struggle, criminal, danger, prison