If you're a YouTube junkie, you might know of a young make-up guru named Gregory Gorgeous who engaged thousands of viewers with his confidence, creative make-up tutorials and inspiring messages about sexuality and identity. But while he appeared such a self-assured person, deep down he was struggling with his own identity. Eventually he came out as a she and changed her name from Gregory Lazzarato to Gigi Lazzarato, undergoing hormone therapy and getting the surgery she needed to embrace her gender transition. But it wasn't all as easy as that. She was the pride of the family with a bright future of Olympic diving ahead of her, and her transgender ordeal truly tested the love of her family. Regardless, they stuck by her and felt her pain through the struggles and prejudices she faced as she grew into her new self.
The Sundance Film Festival has become a hub for some of the world's best documentaries to be showcased. Mariel Hemingway, the grand-daughter of the iconic American writer Ernest Hemingway. Her family's history has been carved by depression and ill mental health. Running From Crazy explores that part of her family's history, and had its premier at the Sundance Film Festival.
Ernest Hemingway killed himself two weeks before Mariel was born, one of her sisters died of an overdose in 1998 and her other sister has been in and out of institutions for a decade. Mariel herself has battled with depression but now, speaking to the Globe and Mail, she says she's through it. "Some people are like, 'Wow, [Running From Crazy is] a heavy title.' Well, I don't see it as a heavy title. I'm like, 'Dude, thank God.' Crazy's gone. . There's fun in my life and I'm joyful. But there was a time when I really was not. . But I truly am no longer depressed. It's gone. I can honestly say that it's been years. I laugh at myself now, which is fun."
With Academy Award winner Barabara Kopple directing and Oprah Winfrey as executive producer it's got some heavy-weight backing behind it. Working with Mariel was a dream for Kopple. "What Mariel has, I mean, she's the dream of a documentarian," she said, "because you sit at the table with her and talk to her, and everything comes out, because she has a higher purpose for it. She really wants to shed light on suicide and mental illness."
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