Mariel Hemingway, author Ernest Hemingway's actress granddaughter, gave viewers an inside look at her family's dark history with a screening of her new documentary at the Key West Film Festival over the weekend.
Hemingway shot to stardom at 16 after appearing in Woody Allen's "Manhattan," and now the 51-year-old is speaking out about her family's experiences with suicide and mental illness in the film, "Running From Crazy."
"Whenever it's shown, there's always one person in the audience, or maybe two or three, who so resonate with the story as their own," Hemingway told CBS Miami of the documentary
. "And that's what this film is about — to bring this out of the darkness, to shed light where people don’t want to look in the dark corners of everybody’s lives, and make it not so scary."
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Seven members of the Hemingway family have committed suicide, she says in the film — her paternal grandfather Ernest; Ernest's father Clarence; her great-grandfather on her grandmother's side; her great-uncle Leicester; her great-aunt Ursula; her uncle Gregory; and her sister Margaux, a one-time supermodel who overdosed in 1996.
Mariel Hemingway's oldest sister, Muffet, suffered a series of psychotic breaks and remains under psychiatric care.
"I really think the heritage of being a Hemingway, it's a big name," Hemingway told Oprah Winfrey in a September interview to promote the film.
"It carries a lot of weight. And I think with that comes tremendous creativity, love, fame, whatever — but also with that comes the opposite. Because I think with darkness there is light. And so that darkness is that mental illness, that mental instability, that insecurity."
Screening the documentary in Key West also held some significance, as Ernest Hemingway penned many of his most popular books at his home there in the 1930s, including "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "To Have and Have Not," and "Death in the Afternoon."
"There's such a history with my grandfather and Key West, so sharing the film here, in a place where he’s so beloved, is wonderful," Mariel Hemingway told CBS Miami.
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