Over its two and a half years in existence, Oprah Winfrey’s network OWN has been an enthusiastic if inconsistent home for nonfiction films via the OWN Documentary Club strand. But the channel’s now prepping for a higher profile doc premiere, as it announces plans to air Barbara Kopple’s doc “Running From Crazy” in early 2014 after a theatrical release on November 1st.
The latest project from Kopple, who won Oscars for “Harlan County U.S.A.” and “American Dream,” had its premiere at Sundance earlier this year. The film explores the Hemingway family, one of the most distinguished in American literature, but also one troubled by deep emotional struggles. Actress Mariel Hemingway, granddaughter of the legendary writer Ernest, is the film’s focus as she explores her family’s disturbing history of mental illness and suicide.
The youngest of the three sisters, Mariel followed her older sister Margaux into acting and modeling, while her oldest sister Muffet struggled with mental illness and drifted in and out of mental hospitals. “Running From Crazy” blends archival footage of the three Hemingway sisters with scenes from Mariel’s life today.
“‘Running from Crazy’ gave me the incredible chance to delve into the rich and complex history of the Hemingways, a family who has left such an enduring mark on literature and culture. My hope is that this film changes perceptions of the family, and also, more importantly, elicits a new compassion and understanding in how we treat those grappling with suicide or mental illness,” said Kopple in the announcement. “For me, it’s a moving and powerful story that offers up hope and the sense that none of us are alone in our struggles.”
Check out a trailer for the film below.