American Experience: A Brilliant Madness

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This 2002 documentary is the story of John Nash, the renowned mathematician whose genius was cut short by mental illness.

Nash was an eccentric and extremely gifted mathematician at MIT who, at the age of 30, began to claim that he was communicating with aliens as a special messenger. Nash was subsequently diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and admitted to various mental hospitals where he remained for 30 years, during which a proof that he had written at the age of 20 (Game Theory) became one of the foundations of modern economic theory.

Nash began to emerge from his delusions in the early 90s, and in 1994 he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Economics at the age 66 for his work on game theory over 40 years previously.

This interesting documentary goes deeper into the man who inspired the Oscar-winning film ‘A Beautiful Mind’ with interviews from his wife Alicia, friends, colleagues and Nash himself.

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