Ernest Hemingway killed himself. That's hard to imagine considering that he is now one of the most highly regarded writers in history and a former Nobel Prize winner. For Mariel Hemingway, the author's granddaughter, its just a piece of family history that has been chasing her for her a lifetime.
Mariel Hemingway says the she's been running from "crazy" tendencies for a long time. Suicide and mental illness are two things that run prevalently in her family. Ernest Hemingway committed suicide in 1961. He was 61 years old.
"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," Mariel Hemingway, 51, told CNN.
"Running From Crazy" was revealed Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Barbara Kopple with Oprah Winfrey as the executive producer, the film touches on the demons that haunt the Hemingway family.
"We were, sort of, the other American family that had this horrible curse," Muriel Hemingway explained.
Before his death, Ernest Hemingway had allegedly been treated at a mental facility for paranoid behavior. At the mental health center, he was treated with electroshock therapy and released. He was sent back in 1961, and two days after his release he shot himself.
"Suicide has no rhyme or reason," Mariel Hemingway said. "Some people think about it for years and plan it. Some people, it's 20 dark minutes of their life that they decide to take their life that comes out of the blue. It's very random, it's very frightening."
One of Mariel's sisters also committed suicide, and seven members of the family have ended their own lives. Her other sister, Joan, has been diagnosed with manic depression.
"She represented being, you know, 'crazy,' " Mariel Hemingway said last week. "I always feared that I would wake up that way, or that maybe I was that way and I didn't even know it."
The film sold out at the festival. Over 550 people were in attendance.