SVFF: Sun Valley Audience Cheers Hometown 'Girl' Mariel Hemingway's Tragic, Uplifting Life Story



Mariel Hemingway, 51, is still a stunner, perhaps more so than she ever was. Nearly 40 years after she burst onto the film scene and grabbed an Oscar nomination (Manhattan) at the age of 16, Hemingway can still make your heart skip a beat when she passes by.

Hemingway knows a thing or two about the heart—mostly how it can break so often. She's the centerpiece of a new documentary, Running From Crazy, which was shown Thursday at the Sun Valley Film Festival in front of an audience that knows her rather well.

Hemingway, the grandaughter of Ernest Hemingway, calls Ketchum home as she has her entire life—even though her acting and modeling career took the occasional detour to Hollywood, New York and Paris.

But Running From Crazy is much more than a compilation of home movies about the iconic writer and his nearly famous clan. It's about genius and tragedy, loss and triumph. And at the conclusion of the film—which chronicles Mariel Hemingway's journey alongside many of her relatives, who were victims of mental illness and suicide—there were plenty of tears as Hemingway took the stage at the Sun Valley Opera House. She took a bow for her life's work (let's hope there's plenty more) and for her courage to tell her story.

Hemingway was in expert hands as two-time Oscar winning documentarian Barba Kopple produced and directed Running From Crazy.

"We need to make sure this story is out there," Kopple said. "I'm very, very proud of this film."

Quite appropriately, St. Luke's Medical Center announced at the screening that it was prepared to co-sponsor a new outpatient mental health clinic to serve the Wood River Valley.

Running From Crazy, which made its debut during February's Sundance Film Festival, is set to air in the near future on OWN, the cable network owned by Oprah Winfrey, who commissioned Kopple to film the documentary.