Kevin DeSoto talks about his experiences working with Mariel Hemingway, and her groundbreaking film about mental illness.
Shedding light on a sensitive subject, helping people feel comfortable, being true to yourself, guiding, directing, supporting with no stigma, just understanding. This has been the goal of Mariel Hemingway – her vision is to address mental illness with a sense of community and cooperation; as she puts it: If you take the I out of “illness” and replace it with We, then it becomes “wellness”. But you have to have that We.
Her life journey has taken her to many places, personally, professionally, and emotionally. She is a very candid and honest person when it comes to her life and the history of the Hemingway family. The documentary Running From Crazy, directed by Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple, takes on the topic of mental health and mental illness through the eyes of Mariel Hemingway.
The privilege of working with Mariel and her partner Bobby Williams has been a surprising journey through both highs and lows. Having a behind-the-scenes viewpoint of their life makes this documentary even more meaningful to me. When you see the struggles of someone’s life, the core of their heart, and the determination they have to make things different, you appreciate that person or family in a totally different light. Mariel says, “my family is not unique,” and she is correct. She takes a humble approach to the struggles she and her family have faced. Families around the world deal with mental health issues, mental illness and suicide, not just the Hemingway family. This documentary had a goal: to bring to light what many of us deal with in our own families – mental illness and making it okay to talk about. Barbara Kopple said of mental illness in an interview at Sundance Film Festival: “If we don’t bring this to light and we don’t support each other, it’s gonna continue to be taboo.” We have to help each other. We must hold each other up and support those who are willing to get this message out.
Running From Crazy is based on the idea that we can change the way the world views mental illness. That we can change people’s minds, and their lives. That is the goal of making films. And that is what has been accomplished by the team that is Cabin Creek Films. Having the engine of The Oprah Winfrey Network behind this film will help get this topic out of our hearts and out in the open so healing can begin globally.
Thank you Mariel & Bobby for letting me be part of this journey with you.