'Running from Crazy' is a documentary examining the personal journey of model and actress Mariel Hemingway, the great granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, as she strives for a greater ...
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'Running from Crazy' is a documentary examining the personal journey of model and actress Mariel Hemingway, the great granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, as she strives for a greater understanding of her family history of suicide and mental illness. Through stunning archival footage of the three Hemingway sisters and intimate verite moments with Mariel herself, the film examines the remarkable though often heartbreaking Hemingway legacy. As Mariel comes to terms with the tragedies of her family's past that have shaped the course of her life, deeply hidden secrets are revealed and truths emerge. Through it all, Mariel finds a way to overcome a similar fate for herself and her daughters, brings awareness to an issue she's deeply passionate about, and discovers an inner strength and peace. Written by
I am a fan of Barbara Kopple's films and this is not one of her best. I'm not sure I would even call it a documentary. It's more like a self-help / memoir video. As such, it was very fitting that it had it's television premiere on OWN, where it was called a docudrama. To some that may seem a small distinction but to anyone who truly appreciates good documentaries it's huge.
This is Mariel Hemingway's story of the many years and many paths she's been on to find that something or someone who makes her feel loved, protected and okay as a human being. "Crazy"......not so much. WASP protected, never spoken of lives of great sadness and depression despite "having it all".....you bet. I am not saying mental illness does not exist in the Hemingway gene pool but that really isn't what this film is about. It's about Mariel's quest for spiritual healing and fulfillment. Part of which is the very admirable public speaking that she does to put a public face on illness and depression few wish to acknowledge within their own families.
By far, the most absorbing pieces of this film are those that are about Margaux. Margaux's own documentary footage is used extensively and it is the only portion of the film that truly captures our attention. She speaks from the place of someone who has great insight into herself and her family. Even her body language is extraordinary in what it reveals about what she knows to be true. I'm sorry to say that Mariel does not come across with that same depth of knowledge despite the years of searching.
The most revealing portions of the film pertain to truths Mariel has apparently yet to acknowledge. One is that her first husband has a cameo, out of nowhere, and appears to be having a coded conversation with her about how maintaining control has been her one big must in life lest she end up dead like 7 other family members and yet she has a tendency to inappropriately give that control away to others. Two is that her boyfriend sure looks to me like he is controlling, manipulative and openly disdainful of her. And the obvious-o-meter goes ding,ding,ding!
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