Mariel Hemingway is sharing her life-long struggles with mental illness, drug addiction, and family suicide (seven relatives — including one of the most influential writers in American history, her grandfather Ernest Hemingway — have committed suicide) in her new documentary, Running from Crazy.
The 51-year-old model and actress teamed up with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, USA; American Dream) to create a film that “places an emphasis on suicide awareness and the importance of mental health evaluations” and one that, the two hope, “offers hope for people living with mental illness by showing that they are not alone in their struggles.”
The film debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and although one reviewer for the Guardian claims it was “one of the bleakest snapshots of the human soul,” a recently published interview with Hemingway and Kopple shares a different take on the film.
NAMI Communications Coordinator Brendan McLean spoke with the two women about their own personal reasons for wanting to make the film. Hemingway states she wants to share her story so that it might help others realize we all share similar journey.
I want others to feel supported and the stigma of mental illness to be obliterated. The more we have a dialogue about this issue the better for everyone.
Kopple was drawn to the job because she hoped to change public perception of such an iconic American family.
Reportedly, the film will air on OWN later this year; in the meantime, you can read the entire interview over at NAMI.