Mariel Hemingway talks family curse, 'Running from Crazy' documentary
Mariel Hemingway is candid in her new documentary "Running from Crazy," which explores her family history of mental illness and suicide.
Hemingway is the granddaughter of writer Ernest Hemingway, who committed suicide a few months before Mariel was born in 1961. Hemingway's sister Margaux committed suicide in 1996 and in total there have been seven suicides in Hemingway's family.
"Knowing that there's so much suicide and so much mental illness in my family, I've always kind of been 'running from crazy,' worried that one day I'd wake up and be in the same position," 51-year-old Hemingway says in the film, according to CNN.
"Running from Crazy" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, January 20. The documentary was executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and was initially announced in 2010. It includes footage from when Margux was making her own family documentary.
In the film, Hemingway reveals that she believes her father Jack Hemingway sexually abused her sisters Margaux and Joan. According to the CNN report, she only briefly addresses the topic, she does not remember her father abusing her and is not aware if her mother knew what happened. Jack Hemingway died in 2000.
The documentary also tackles the strained relationship she had with her sisters, especially Joan, nicknamed Muffet. The two only previously saw each other once a year. Muffet was diagnosed as manic depressive when she was young. However, since the completion of the documentary, the two sisters have seen each other more often.
Hemingway said her family did not talk about mental illness or depression when she was growing up.
"Nobody spoke about anything," she told CNN. "It was a different generation."
Mariel Hemingway added that she has struggled with her own bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts and was only recently able to overcome those feelings through relaxation techniques, exercising and being around nature.
"It's amazing to me that I'm not sad anymore and that I don't worry and that I don't fear," she said.
Hemingway has two daughters from a previous marriage, 26-year-old Dree and 24-year-old Langley. She said she is very open to talking to her daughters about their mental health. She has also started a lifestyle company with boyfriend Bobby Williams called TheWillingWay.