Growing up in the famous Hemingway family left Mariel Hemingway confronted with a family legacy of depression, suicide and alcoholism. As an adult, Ernest Hemingway's granddaughter battled her own inner demons, but Mariel remembers being exposed to a destructive family ritual dating back to her childhood.
"My mother and father drank wine every night. They called it 'wine time.'" Mariel says in the documentary "Running From Crazy."
Come 5 p.m. in the Hemingway house, the wine bottle was opened and Mariel's mother took her place perched upon the kitchen countertop with her legs crossed along the sink. Mariel remembers the evening always beginning calmly enough. "They'd have one glass of wine and things were kind of happy. They were actually having a regular conversation," she says. "But after a couple of glasses of wine and the alcohol kicked in, nastiness would happen."
The change, Mariel says, seemed instant and would escalate into something physically destructive. "I can't remember why it would start, but… some switch would happen and somebody's throwing a bottle against the wall, somebody gets cut," Mariel says. "My mother would storm off to her bedroom and my dad would go down into the basement, where he lived in his land of seclusion."
As for the young Mariel? "I would clean up the dinner party, the blood, the glass," she states. "Just weird, like it was the most normal thing to do. Like that's what you did."
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