Mariel Hemingway, the granddaughter of famous American writer Ernest Hemingway, says that her famous family has long been stricken with a terrible curse.
In a new documentary that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival called Running From Crazy, Mariel says that her family history is built on misfortune, depression, and mental illness, reports MSN. Though the number is sometimes disputed, seven members of the Hemingway family, including Ernest Hemingway, have committed suicide.
Opening up for the first time about her family’s struggles with mental illness, Mariel shocked the audience with the suggestion that her own father (Jack Hemingway, Ernest’s son) sexually abused her sisters Margaux and Joan (Margaux committed suicide in 1996).
“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,” the 51-year-old actress and writer says in the film.
She also compares the Hemingway family to the Kennedys, another famous (and supposedly cursed) American family, though Running From Crazy is about mental illness: as an issue for the Hemingways and as a broader issue.
Mariel told CNN that she wanted the film to give an unprecedented look at her family history but also to show others suffering from mental illness that they’re “not alone in the world of dysfunction.”
“I think people need to talk about [mental illness],” Mariel said. “It doesn’t shame anyone, and it doesn’t make anybody’s family an ugly, bad family.”
Here’s a short interview with Mariel Hemingway about her documentary Running From Crazy: