The Sundance Film Festival has become a hub for some of the world's best documentaries to be showcased. Mariel Hemingway, the grand-daughter of the iconic American writer Ernest Hemingway. Her family's history has been carved by depression and ill mental health. Running From Crazy explores that part of her family's history, and had its premier at the Sundance Film Festival.
Ernest Hemingway killed himself two weeks before Mariel was born, one of her sisters died of an overdose in 1998 and her other sister has been in and out of institutions for a decade. Mariel herself has battled with depression but now, speaking to the Globe and Mail, she says she's through it. "Some people are like, 'Wow, [Running From Crazy is] a heavy title.' Well, I don't see it as a heavy title. I'm like, 'Dude, thank God.' Crazy's gone. . There's fun in my life and I'm joyful. But there was a time when I really was not. . But I truly am no longer depressed. It's gone. I can honestly say that it's been years. I laugh at myself now, which is fun."
With Academy Award winner Barabara Kopple directing and Oprah Winfrey as executive producer it's got some heavy-weight backing behind it. Working with Mariel was a dream for Kopple. "What Mariel has, I mean, she's the dream of a documentarian," she said, "because you sit at the table with her and talk to her, and everything comes out, because she has a higher purpose for it. She really wants to shed light on suicide and mental illness."
The events later known as the rape of Nanking happened quickly, over just six horrific weeks at the end of 1937 and into 1938, and because the city was so cut off at the time and the war went on for eight more years, much of the story went untold for decades. It wasn't until writer Iris Chang documented the tragedy in her 1998 book The Rape of Nanking that the true scope of the horror was made apparent. It was that book that inspired Nanking, a highly effective documentary that uses interesting techniques to tell its remarkable story.
Continue reading: Nanking Review