Mariel Hemingway is best known for her Oscar nominated role in Manhattan as Woody Allen’s daughter. She is the granddaughter of the great Ernest Hemingway and the lead in this bleak documentary that follows the tragic trail of suicides within the family – both Ernest and her sister Margaux killed themselves, and her eldest sister Muffet has schizophrenia.
Oscar winning director Barbara Kopple uses Margaux’s own archival footage to make up a lot of the film’s most interesting moments. In fact, Margaux seems to be the most charismatic of the three sisters, as the husky voiced, dyslexic model/actress who clearly lost her way. It’s somewhat shameful that the three granddaughters never thoroughly read Hemingway’s books and there’s a bit too much introspection going on throughout, as Mariel tries to deal with her past (including a father who she claims abused her sisters) but also her present, as a yoga and rock climbing health nut. Unfortunately she comes off looking the stupid one of the three girls, as she tearily admits to thinking of Margaux as the stupid one. There’s not much new information revealed in this doc produced by Oprah Winfrey, but it is certainly well put together.
Written by Elizabeth Benjamin