tv Democracy Now WHUT January 28, 2013 6:18pm-7:00pm EST
difficult story of their lifetime with us because we promised them we would do everything we could to make their story heard in america. i have to think sundance for letting us keep that promise. >> rick rowley accepting u.s. documentary cinematography award for "dirty wars: the world is a battlefield." to see our full interview with rick rowley and jeremy scahill and other sundance interviews, visit democracynow.org. yes, this is "democracy now!" we go to a break and then come back with mariel hemingway. stay with us.
in park city, utah, with a new documentary "running from crazy premier. it follows the granddaughter of the great novelist ernest hemingway, mariel hemingway, focusing on her family's history of mental illness and suicide of seven relatives including her sister margo, the super model, and her grandfather, earnest. in the film, she opens up about how she put her own depression and suicidal thoughts behind her. the film is directed by two-time oscar-winning filmmaker barbara kopple, the first film she ever made alone, to cut carbon county usa" won an oscar in 1977. i sat down with barbara kopple and last mariel hemingway to get the sundance film festival. first, let's go back to 1954, an excerpt of the late, great writer ernest hemingway's speech accepting the nobel prize for literature.
>> except other which humility. there is no need to list these writers. everyone here may make its own list according to his knowledge and his conscience. it would be impossible for me to ask the ambassador of my country to read a speech in which a writer said all the things which are in his heart. things may not be immediately discernible in what a man writes, and in this sometimes he is fortunate. but eventually, they are quite clear and by these and the degree of alchemy that he possesses, he will endure or be forgotten. writing, at its best, is only life. organizations for writers palliate the writer's
loneliness, but i doubt if they improve his writing. he grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. for he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer, he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day. for a true writer each book should be a new beginning or he tries again for something yet beyond attainment. >> that was ernest hemingway accepting the nobel prize for literature in 1954. he committed suicide july 2, 1961 in idaho. his granddaughter, mariel hemingway, born just a few months later. at the sundance film festival a few days ago, and interviewed barbara kopple, the oscar- winning filmmaker, and mariel hemingway about the title of the new film, "running from crazy." >> that would be me. and jokingly have said for years, i am running from crazy. i have been running from crazy my whole life. i said it in an interview, in
the wind, "what a great title." >> what do you mean by running from crazy? >> as the documentary points out that there are generations of suicide and mental illness and all this stuff, it is unspoken, but my sister, my older sister who is in the film, has suffered from mental illness since i was a child. so that was always there. tremendous amount of addiction in the family. knowing about the many different suicides -- an uncle who suffered from mental illness, they had shock treatment -- the whole 9 yards. i was always -- not a little, i was always a lot fearful of waking up and being crazy or thought, maybe i am crazy in just don't know it. for me, my whole life was about surviving crazy. but my role is different than my
sisters. my sister sort of did it as they were rebellious and partyers and had addictive behavior. mine was addictive, that sort of toward health and wellness. although i did not do all the right things when i was younger, but i always went outside and always felt like i was trying to get away from the feeling of losing it. and a lot of my early childhood was all about controlling everything. >> winded to understand about your family history? when did you learn about your grandfather, ernest hemingway, who he was and how he died? >> i knew he had killed himself. it was not spoken a lot about in my home. my dad did not talk about it a lot. i did not know where he had done it. i knew it had happened in sun valley. i knew there was mental illness, but i did not even understand what that was. as a kid, you think your family is normal even if there is a lot
of this function. that was my normal. really understanding it has been a process over many years, to be quite honest. and even this film coming to fruition has been a completion of understanding. i understand myself a lot better, even through watching it. now i see why i made the choices i made. >> i want to turn to a clip from the film, "running from crazy" or your in your grandfather's house. -- where you are in your grandfather's house. >> i always avoided right in here. this is where he killed himself. i was in my late twenties when i
found out. i never knew. someone said, this is where it happened. i was like, i was so blown away. i had no idea. i would not come in here as a kid. it totally freaked me out. it felt like a basement, like a creepy basement that you don't want to go into. and it is just kind of the back door to the outside. something kept me away. >> that is mariel hemingway walking around the back door area of her grandfather's house. talk about your sister. talk about margaux hemingway. she is a central figure in the film, not to mention in your life. in this complicated story of addiction and depression, mental illness and suicide. >> what i love about the film is
it as many have compassion a margaux hemingwaand have compas. when you're 7 years old, that is a big jump. she was practically out of the house by the time i had real memories. her coming back and her life was just on to me. she got me a role in the movie called "lipstick" which really started my career, which created a lot of attention because i got notoriety for it and she got slammed. there were just things about our relationship or a very, very difficult. because i was always making choices toward what i thought was health, i was very judgmental of how she is living her life. i did not understand why she drank so much war was partying. but that was for getting out of pain. i did not see that because i was too young. >> let's go to a clip from the film, "running from crazy" where she is making a film about your
grandfather. bachelet, before we go to it, explain what is she is doing. >> she had decided -- and barbara tavis amazing footage. before we go to that, i have to say that is the most amazing part that are kept secret from me. she did not, she had footage of my family and my sister. i had no idea she had made a documentary. i had heard she made one or was making one or something. but she found 43 hours of unseen footage of my sister, but it shows my family in the kitchen and things i had said to barbara sort of thinking i was imagining it almost because they are my memories, and she found footage and it matches. it was so chilling for me to actually see my mother on the counter with her feet in the sink and the yellow and navy blue kitchen. it was crazy.
for us, it was a treasure to find. >> where did you find it? what's our sound man, when we went to film for the first time -- in line >> where she grew up in idaho. >> yes, sun valley, idaho. he said, in the '80s, i shot a film with margaux hemingway. i said, where is it? he said, you can try calling this person or this person. he got on it. it was a 2 hour or one hour fell. then we found a place that had 43 hours that had never been seen before and never looked at. >> and you had never seen it question >> i did not know it existed. literally telling stories about my childhood, it was not my childhood, but she had footage of that house and the behavior. it was crazy. >> for me, it was bringing a
whole different later to the film. as merrill spoke about the film, we were actually seeing real things that happens and the things that she felt and it was also sort of stepping into margaux's life and interview her father, ernest hemingway's oldest son. it was miraculous for her. every time i would go on a shoot, i would go back and look at more footage to see what we could substantiate, what we could try to put together. >> she changed the spelling of her name from the start of regular margot to -- 01/28/13 01/28/13 >> margaux. she said my parents had a romantic interlude over a bottle of chateau margaux. i think that was a made up story, but it worked. >> or they conceived her? >> i think it was more mysterious.
it was a better story. >> i want to go to a clip of the fillmore you describe your mother and father, your nightly ritual, we will put it that way. >> a mother and father drank wine every night and called it wine time. all is my favorite. wine time started about 5:00 and my mother would sit on the countertop with her feet crossed in the sink. every night in the same place. there would have a glass of wine and things were happy. there were having a regular conversation actually. >> do you want me to do that? >> but after a couple of glasses of wine enough alcohol content and nastiness would happen.
but start, someone with throw bottle against the wall, somebody gets cut. i mother would storm off to her bedroom and my dad would go down to the basement where he lived in his land of seclusion, and i would clean up the dinner party, the blood, the glass. just weird. like it was the most normal thing to do, like that is what you did. >> that is mario hemingway describing growing up in and you say in that clip, you thought this was standard, the flow of little girl in the family, the child, would clean up for her parents every night. >> absolutely. i really did. that was the role i played. they were all drinking -- i never drank or to drugs based on watching this. wine time was a double-it was double sided.
it started out ok, one drink is good, too is ok, three kids a little funky uncluttered drinks people are mad and cannot talk. dinners on tvt tenogourmet trays because no one can communicate anymore. i played the martyr my whole life. i was going to clean up and be good so that would be the way i got the attention and the way i was loved. >> and she would -- nobody in the family would ever say there was any trouble because there were all good. they kept it inside. >> here is margaux standing outside her grandfather's house, and ernest hemingway's house, talking about what went on there. here she is making her own documentary. >> this is my grandfather's house. i spent a lot of time they're
writing the-he spent a lot of time the right thing and that is where he took his life. i always felt if someone cannot go on living in creating the way they can -- i mean, the way they're used to come in a healthy form, i accept the fact that he killed himself. >> that was margaux hemingway as a young person making a documentary about her famous grandfather ernest hemingway, talking about suicide -- his choice in ending his life. >> that is a chilling moment. it is so prophetic. i remember watching it when you showed me it a month ago and it is just so -- you know, it takes your breath away because you know what is going to happen. and her acceptance of suicide in the choice for my grandfather, it is that moment the disco, wow, that is powerful. i think for me who has been
running from crazy whole life to realize that is not a choice for me, even though i had suicidal thoughts in the past, but it is so clear it is not acceptable in my life. which was a wonderful realization. >> and also, margaux hemingway idolized the thought of ernest hemingway. hunting, fishing, drinking, and women. that was her ideal. she felt she was a lot by cambrian that is why she wanted to retrace his footsteps. >> the horror of the metaphor you have in the film of the bullfight in this pool being secured, dying, the bleeding, and there is margaux weeping, comparing the dying bull to -- >> to her own life, to her pain, attributing it in such a close
way that you could really see her going down. >> let's go back to mark a -- margaux in this film. >> everybody wants to hear. [indiscernible] >> i never even knew who ernest hemingway was. had the feeling that your daughters being so well known? >> i know the kind of lives they have chosen are tough on you. i saw what affect fame had on
papa both in a positive and negative way. i have heard you or mariela or someone else said, "don't worry, daddy, i will never change." you have had opportunities as a result of your grandfather's name which have given you chances this a little gal off the street would not have had. >> there is margaux hemingway interviewing her father, jack hemingway, talking to him about what it is like to be the son of a famous man and for him to have these daughters or also so famous. >> he was a great outdoorsman, my father. he is speaking to my sister as he is tying a fly, answering her questions about what it is like to be the father of famous daughters and the son of a
famous man. although he chuckles and acts like it is ok and is all right, you know, that he accepts that, there is a pain in him that you can see in that moment. you can see how there is a feeling of the alleged lack of completion or something, like he did not quite do what he wanted to do. i always felt my dad was on the verge of something that could not quite complete from self. he was a wonderful writer. >> you have complicated feelings about your father and in the film you raise the issue of incest. >> i bring it up because i think it informs how you see my sisters and why they turned out the way they turned out. that said, i loved my father and still love my father. he was a wonderful man and i learned so much about the outdoors from him. i really did care for him.
it is complicated. i think it is one of the issues that is important for other people to see because i think we all come from families who all have complicated relationships. he drank too much. in our childhood, he drank a lot. i am not sure he even remembers any of that. probably not at all. that is the hardest part of the documentary for me ito talk abot because i don't throw my dad under the bus, but it is true. one thing i have discussed before is i made a pact with myself to tell the truth. if i was going to do this, i was going to go all out and do it, dig deep and not cover things up. i felt it was honoring of the story. and still don't think my dad is a bad guy, at all. >> and she really did.
our first cut was 5.5 hours. it was so hard to cut it down. then it was 3.5 hours. we just felt like we were ripping the innards out of this film. she give up everything, maybe even more than i needed to know. [laughter] >> that is one of the most painful parts of the film when he seemed to be retrieving these memories of, did he victimized all of his daughters? >> no, not that i am aware of. i don't have any kind of memory myself, and i said it in the film, i slept with my mother since i was like seven years old. she had cancer and house for primary care giver. i lived in the same room to take care of her but i also think i was been protected. >> that your mother was protecting you? >> i think it was unknown. i don't think this was a conscious thought. i think it was an unconscious
way of protecting me. >> actress mariel hemingway barbara kopple and barbara. we will talk more about their film in a moment. ♪ [music break] >> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we continue our conversation in partpark city, utah with mariel hemingway and barbara kopple about "running from crazy" >> it on thing is, that was hard
to believe. she modeled her life after my grandfather. the navy as a child she did not know. but as she went out into the world and became a model and was traveling to paris and going -- >> she was a super model. >> she was the biggest. no model has ever been on the cover of "time." she was the first model to be paid several million dollars at one that just did not happen. -- back when that justice not happen. in my mind, it was a misinterpretation of someone's life. it is doing all the things that my grandfather did but without doing the creative part -- he was doing it for a reason. i'm not saying it was the most functional, but it is how he got himself to write. i think there's always that missing piece in her. it was like, "i am doing this,
but where is the creative?" know what i mean? it is an interesting -- i don't know, conflict. >> how do you about your family with your daughters? how do you raise them differently? >> i think the best thing that you can do is to be clear and honest. when they were young, i did not talk about that because i did not want that to be something they feared like i had feared. and maybe that was a mistake. maybe i should have said more. this is been a very transformative journey just seeing the film with langley. for her to understand. she sought a just days ago and said -- wow. she had powerful insight on the family, but also so much compassion. i think it was really nice to have your daughter see you and see what you have been through, but without putting it on her.
she could decide whether she is one to take it. she decides, that's not her. my journey of what all this -- of these crazy things i have done have broken that chain. i don't feel like i'm handing it to them. >> an langley is very intuitive toward mariel because on the suicide walk, the american foundation to prevent suicide, mariel gave a speech and it was a very hard one to give. she introduced people who have lost people they loved. langley just felt she is having a hard time getting through it, that it was emotional. you see her put her hand on the center of her mother's back to center her. it was just so beautiful and loving. after it was over, mariel
put your arms around langley and says, "that was so hard." you feel the bond, feel a closeness of them really having each other's back. >> what you're doing? >> thank you for asking print the truth is, i really feel like this whole movie and being able to look at the past is really just information that has led me to right now. i have this company called the willing way with my partner of the williams who is our comic relief in the film, and that is aboutanalysts and lifestyle and how you think, what you eat, how you put yourself out in the world really can and form their mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. that really has become my life. i love that scene because i did not know they had failed to doing that it i love the fact that i could see her sing
differently. like she did not know me to be happy a lot. i had happy moments, but i was generally just a little bit down, a little depressed. and now am so happy because of a lifestyle choices i've made. if there's anything i want to come out of this film, it is not "oh, poor me." is about everybody. everybody has choices they can make. you may not make my choices, but you can make better, healthier choices that can make your life more balanced, more healthy and happy. >> let's go to you and bobby in "running from crazy" where they're taking a road trip. to sun valley. we're leading in five. we're going to travel 2,000 miles in four days. ♪
this looks really good, bob. we're at red rocks shooting a piece that mariel hemingway and bobby williams, a piece on holistic living and living harmoniously with the world and the environment. >> it looks amazing. >> that is good. >> whenever we do road trips together, i want to stop constantly. let's put our feet in the water, let's do this, let's do this. my whole life it was always about just doing whatever is in front of the. >> and that is great for me to have learned because my life was about -- >> pleasing, being on time.
>> schedule. >> long days. the definition of adventure is not knowing what is going happen next. >> that is mariel hemingway and bobby on the road, taking a four-day trip thousands of miles and just going on, as he puts it, and adventure. >> we do road trips often read this particular one was to do a little short film about the willing way and how we live our lives and we have fun and what we eat and we rock climb into all of this stuff. we have a regular relationship and we fight and we're so great about it -- it was not great in the moment, i was really pissed. >> but it was good for you. but it was great for me. i was in a difficult relationship for 24 years were i was the good girl. i played the role as a kid. and never said anything, did not speak up for myself and all of the seven [bleep]
>> i am glad we're not doing this live. [laughter] >> anyway, it is just so great. it is the first time in my life i can fight with somebody i love deeply and know i am safe and ok and he is not going to leave. it is just not a dangerous place for me. saying he felt when i was a kid was dangerous. i did not know in my relationship with my ex-husband, i did not know i could be safe there, either. not that he was dangerous, but i did not know. i was not advanced in the own understanding of myself that i could of been ok. and now i am not a martyr anymore. i don't play the victim. >> and after the fight, they proceed to rock climb. you need so much trust in that.
you are tethered to each other. it just shows they got over that. it was finished and there they are with another challenge. there is mariel going up the bare rock with her hands -- with her bare hands going up the rock. >> this is mariel hemingway driving and talking about whomever you may think you know about their life whenever you really don't know. >> there is no one outside of yourself that can help you or love you the way you need except you. this is what i talk about to people. i know a lot about how people can live a better life, how they can be happy, how they can not fear stuff i have feared my whole life. but sometimes it is such a misunderstanding of the being i really am. i get that. i often say that could oust the to people and say, "i know you think you know me."
i get it. i would think the same thing but guess what? a bunch of -- in my family, i am scared, too. >> talking about your life, people are going to assume all sorts of things about you because you are this famous starlet, actress, and look at what he had been suffering. >> and i think that is with some the people, not just my story. i think many people put on masks and play games and we tried at a certain way because it is survival, because it is running from crazy, it is how you're brought up. maybe you don't want to get in trouble. i think we reenact our patterns until we can see those patterns. that is what i did. i get it. like a said, "i get it." i would think the same thing.
but when you crack open until a layer of that onion, you can see more and more and more as you peel away the layers. >> you yourself said you have felt suicidal thoughts in the past and have this unbelievable history. how many people in your family have committed suicide? >> 7 that we know. my great-grandfather, my grandmother's father, my great uncle, my uncle, a cousin and margaux. >> and your sister drink herself to death? >> no, she took -- >> and overdose. >> initially this it was not suicide. the family was, ok, it is not suicide rid we never admitted
it. we are all like, no, no, no proof i did not think it was her. i thought it must be my older sister because she had been suffering for the longest time but i knew margaux severed from addictions, but i did not know it was so deep -- suffered from addiction, but i did not know the mental illness was so deep. there was some psychotic behavior that my dad was worried about. but we were all like, it must be something else. >> how would you do things differently now? you say have learned so much. if you knew then what you know now about how to deal someone who is mentally ill or suicidal? >> you know, like what we want this film to do, talk, speak about it, be in their lives more, have more compassion. and there is a lot of modality.
i really know how lifestyle can change the way your brain is balanced, so i would have -- if she would have been willing, i would have taken her life and said, "look, give me a year or two to shift the way you eat, the way you think, and teach you about different things." but it was not our dynamic. there was a lot of, "i am the big sister and your little sister." so there was that. but in a different world where i could make it all up, i would have helped in that way. >> so this film, "running from crazy" has just premiered at sundance and it is getting a lot of attention. a lot of people saw it here, but many, many more people will see it around the country. what do you hope to do with it? for both of you? >> for distribution, we would like to see it show theatrically. we would also like that
community groups and mental illness groups and people just get behind it and use it in a pivotal way so that people are able to really say, "talk to each other." for people to not be afraid or keep it under the shadows. >> where are you headed with this and with this film? >> i feel absolutely liberated in my life. 51 and here i am being reborn. but i feel like i am younger and happier and more aware than i have ever been. for me, the film is a tool. it is a learning tool. like she said, it is a film about hope. i would love to see it be in rehab centers. someone wrote me and said, "we saw this film and thought about it all night and decided it should be in universities and rehab centers to help people." and to be able to speak around
the country and talk about my own story, just so it can help other people to talk about their own story. just so they do not feel alone but feel supported. >> in just being here, your film here at the opening, do people come up to afterward? >> that is the beautiful thing. it was scary to see it here and see it with people. but the wonderful thing is, everybody comes up with tears in their eyes not because it's me, that because this a "my god, that is my story." and i know that. that is the only thing i came into this , that it was not just my story that everybody had a similar version of pain of some kind or touched by melissa -- until illness or cancer or whatever it is. but for some to say "is located talk about" and shift the paradigm, breaks the cycle, i
would like help people break that cycle. but i am also like to any willing way. i like inspiring people to find a health and wellness. and i would like to act again, to critics after the screening, people confessed. we had a moderator who whispered to me, "i fought so hard not to be the moderator for this film." i said, why question he said, "i had someone very close to me, suicides when i said, do you want to talk about it? and he talked about it in front of 600 people at the premiere screening. >> it was so powerful. >> he said, "i have a sister who committed suicide five years ago and i have not talked about is." his voice started to quiver. people would come up to us and
say they have lost a relative. people would tell different stories and just hold on to us and cry. >> barbara kopple, director of, "running from crazy" and mariel hemingway, focusing on the mental illness and history of mariel hemingway's family. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to email@example.com or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]