If you’ve followed the work of
Ernest Hemingway, you’d know that there were few places on earth where he could
simply slip away with complete abandon – Michigan was one of those places for
him, it was his safe haven. The Northern Michigan woods gave him the
inspiration he needed to restore normalcy into his life, where fame wouldn’t be
a worry and he could just go back to his childhood.
The latest three-part
documentary, titled ‘Hemingway’ will explore the writer just the same and give
insight into who he truly was when nobody was watching. The documentary by Lynn
Novick and Ken Burns is all set to shatter popular myths that surrounded his
Of course, the filmmakers made
use of the books available in Michigan to start his research. The filmmakers
went to Central Michigan University’s Hemingway collection and other primary
sources that have painted the image of Hemingway in our minds.
Literary geeks would be well
aware that Hemingway lived a suburban life in Oak Park, Illinois – this is
where he got exposed to diversity and different kinds of life styles. After
receiving inheritance, his mother bought a farm house where he spent most of
his teenage years – he would report back to his father about the crops.
Interestingly, he would always keep going back to Michigan, until he got
married for the first time to Hadley Richardson in 1921.
The docuseries is not going to
sell to you who you want him to be – the iconic and most respected writer in
history, but it delves deep into his personal life. The media planted his image
as this deeply masculine guy, but do you know that he was incredibly insecure
to the extent that he told lies to himself about himself?
When you look at the painted
image of Ernest Hemingway, you see this alpha-male surrounded by guns,
hard-drinking, sea-fishing, hunting games, and all things stereotypically
masculine. He would womanize and fade into the night – tales still lingering to
this day. The documentary has another story to unravel – apparently, he was a
troubled mind who fought a battle that was deeply personal and hidden from the
public eye. He was fascinated with gender fluidity and found it terrible to
embrace stereotypical masculinity like an achievement.
Look, it doesn’t matter if
you’re a fan or not – there’s something for everybody to take away from this
fascinating documentary. This shocking series—starting from April 5th
and ending on April 7th–will reveal truths about his tenderness.
The filmmaker didn’t want to
burden the audiences with compounds of wisdom – they wanted to engross the
audience with warm and delightful storytelling. Everybody will watch the
documentary with preconceived notions and personal interests in mind. The story
is about a man who created myths for himself as he was so entangled in his own
mysteries and afraid of the truth – something that often blinded him to fault.
He is truly one of the greatest
writers in history, but he is also one of the greatest human tragedies, as
we’re all aware of the fate he got from his own hands just few weeks prior to his
How did this project start?
Were the filmmakers inspired by Hemingway’s writing? These are some important
questions that come to our mind, and they’ll become louder in our minds once we
watch the documentary. Like others, Novick also admired
Hemingway’s work, but
not all of it. He believes that some of his work has had a profound impact on
his life and that’s the side that he was most interested in. He, in fact,
didn’t know much about the writer behind those words. He simply knew him as
this mythological creator who had a deep grasp on words.
Lynn believes that he had an
epiphany and just wanted to explore the writer in the initial stages. Once he
was able to build the foundation, he scratched further and then the story hit
him like a lightning bolt. The story is worth sharing,
and so the filmmaker didn’t hesitate for even a moment.
Watch the documentary on PBS
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