Film Review: ‘Running from Crazy’ is Essential Link in Hemingway Legacy

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – If you thought the end of the story was the suicide of famed author Ernest “Papa” Hemingway in 1961, then you never paid attention to the fate of the generations down the line bearing his name. Granddaughter Mariel Hemingway seeks her own truth among the tragedy of her family’s legacy in the redemptive “Running from Crazy.” Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

Mariel Hemingway is an Oscar nominated actress, for her role as a teenager in the classic Woody Allen film, “Manhattan.” She is an earnest professional, but behind that mask was a four generation curse of depression, substance abuse and suicide. There is a point the film in which Mariel must wear some symbolic necklaces for the losses from those in her family taking their own lives. She selects one color for her sister Margaux, and six more for the other family members. Her burden is achingly revealed in this flawlessly structured documentary by veteran filmmaker Barbara Kopple. Using archival footage – including revealing 1980s video and audio of Margaux trying to understand her own truth – the film captures the Hemingway family that is left behind from the ruins of past ghosts.

Mariel Hemingway is an advocate for health – physical, spiritual and mental – but she has never publicly spoken about the darkness surrounding the Hemingway name. Using the film as a journey, she tells her story, surrounded by her father Jack (the oldest son of Ernest Hemingway), her mother Byra Louise and her older sisters Joan (nicknamed “Muffet”) and Margaux. Mariel made her debut film with her sister, entitled “Lipstick” (1976).

Besides living with the name, Mariel also lives with the unique atmosphere of depression that permeates the Hemingways. Her parents had a sad and broken marriage, her sisters suffered from various bouts of mental illness. Margaux – who at one point was the highest paid model in the world – committed suicide one day shy of the 35th anniversary her grandfather’s famous exit. “Running from Crazy” is an ironic title, as Mariel actually runs toward it.

“Running from Crazy” continues its limited release in Chicago on November 15th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Mariel Hemingway. Produced by Oprah Winfrey. Directed by Barbara Kopple. Not Rated.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ”Running from Crazy”

Mariel Hemingway
Mariel Hemingway Reflects on Her Life in ‘Running from Crazy
Photo credit: OWN

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ”Running from Crazy”

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