Running from Crazy

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Running from Crazy
Directed by Barbara Kopple
Produced by Barbara Kopple[1]
Oprah Winfrey
David Cassidy
Lisa Erspamer[1]
Erica Forstadt[1]
Starring Mariel Hemingway
Margaux Hemingway
Jack Hemingway
Langley Crisman
Dree Crisman
Joan Hemingway
Bobby Williams
Cinematography Andrew Young
Edited by Michael Culbya[1]
Mona Davis [1]
Release date
Running time
105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $33,300 (domestic)[2]
The documentary is told through the eyes of Mariel Hemingway, author Ernest Hemingway's granddaughter.

Running from Crazy is a 2013 television documentary film by director Barbara Kopple about the family of Mariel Hemingway, grand daughter of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway. Through the eyes of Mariel, who received an Oscar nomination for her role in Woody Allen's 1979 film Manhattan, and who has spoken for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention,[3] it chronicles the story of three of the author's grandchildren; Mariel, Margaux Hemingway and Joan "Muffet" Hemingway, daughters of Jack Hemingway, and their struggles with the family history of substance abuse, mental illness and suicide.[4][5][6] First shown at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, the documentary was promoted on the Oprah Winfrey Network, which aired its premiere on April 27, 2014.[7][8]


Mariel comments early in the film on the fact that seven family members have committed suicide, including Ernest and Margaux.[7][9] Ernest shot himself a few months before his granddaughter Mariel was born.[10]

The film includes excerpts from lengthy footage filmed by Margaux in 1983, called by a reviewer the "most riveting depictions of the Hemingway clan".[11] It demonstrates the contrast between the two sisters: Margaux's modeling and acting career ultimately collapsed, and in 1996 she died of a drug overdose just days before the 35th anniversary of her grandfather's suicide,[12] while Mariel's early career was successful.[13] In the documentary, Mariel describes her own experience with depression and thoughts of suicide, which she says she has overcome,[14] and talks of her difficulties in dealing with sometimes abusive family members,[5][6][a] and with the mental illness of her sister Muffet, diagnosed with "bipolar schizophrenia".[4][11]


A reviewer called the film "one of the bleakest snapshots of the human soul at this year's [Sundance] festival".[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Running from Crazy: Production Notes" (PDF). Cabin Creek Films. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Running from Crazy (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  3. ^ "The Importance of Not Being Ernest". New York Times. October 24, 2013. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Doggart, Sebastian (January 25, 2013). "Sundance film festival 2013: Running from Crazy – first look review". Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Landau, Elizabeth (January 23, 2014). "Hemingway family mental illness explored in new film". CNN. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Stuever, Hank (April 26, 2014). "OWN’s ‘Running From Crazy’: When you hear those bells, they don’t always toll for thee". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b McCarthy, Todd (February 5, 2013). "Running from Crazy: Sundance Review". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  8. ^ Okura, Lynn (2014-04-25). "Mariel Hemingway's 'Running From Crazy' Documentary Premieres On OWN". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-05-03. 
  9. ^ Juan González, Amy Goodman. "Extended Interview with Mariel Hemingway: New Doc "Running From Crazy" Tackles Family History of Suicide, Mental Illness". 28 January 2013. Huffington Post. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  10. ^ Labrecque, Jeff (January 14, 2013). "Sundance 2013: Mariel Hemingway takes the plunge in 'Running From Crazy'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Nelson, Rob (February 3, 2013). "Running From Crazy". Variety. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Coroner Says Death of Actress Was Suicide". The New York Times. August 21, 1996. 
  13. ^ Germain, David (Associated Press) (January 22, 2013). "Mariel Hemingway runs from crazy at Sundance". Yahoo News. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  14. ^ Associated Press (January 24, 2013). "Hemingway runs from crazy". Daily Herald. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 


  1. ^ She states in the documentary: "When I was really small, and I shared a room with Margaux, and my dad came in the room, you know... I don't wanna call it what it was, but it wasn't right, you know... um, it's hard to have a visual of that, you don't wanna see your dad doing those things, but I know it, I know it happened. I think that my dad abused the girls [Margaux and Joan], sexually abused the girls, um, when they were young. My dad, if you met him, was not, you don't think 'oh, pedophile', or this or that, you just didn't, that's not what came to your mind at all, at all, he was a beautiful man and in many ways, but I think it happened in drunk, you know, behavior, you know 'my wife doesn't love me', I don't know what the reasons were. You know 'I'm obsessed with my daughters', I don't know why a person can even go there.... I know people would say, 'there's no way in hell your father did that'. And yet, Margaux was obsessed with him, Muffet was obsessed with him, and my mother allowed me to sleep with her my whole childhood practically. I slept with my mom from age seven to age sixteen. But I witnessed it as a kid, so... that's why I thought it never happened to me, because... I don't know why it didn't, but I just assumed it happened to them and it didn't happen to me."[2]

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