Stories We Tell
Stories We TellOriginal Title: Stories We Tell
Director: Sarah Polley
Canada | English
Relationships have been a central theme in the films of award-winning director and actress Sarah Polley. She has skillfully explored the complexities inherent in emotions in her Oscar-nominated debut Away From Her
(2006) and the more recent Take This Waltz
(2011). In Stories We Tell
, she turns to the documentary genre, continuing her exploration of relationships with a poignant and delicate autobiographical piece centering on the marriage of her parents: British-born actor Michael Polley and Canadian actress and casting director Diane Polley.
Blending Super 8 home-movie footage and pseudo-Super 8 reconstructions with interviews and a memoir written and narrated by Michael Polley, Sarah’s family and friends transform into fascinating storytellers. Together, they add up the pieces of an intricate puzzle by gently peeling back painful memories and carefully guarded secrets revolving around Michael’s paternity. From these tales, Sarah’s mother Diane, who died of cancer, emerges as an enigmatic character who charmed everyone with her verve and flamboyance while keeping her frustrations and restlessness hidden.
Enchanting and cathartic, Stories We Tell
is about coming to terms with family narratives and the past, dealing with issues of illusion and ownership of memory. Questions of courage, confrontation, candor and truth occupy center stage in these vivid and nostalgic personal stories – inevitably similar to our own tales – through which we understand what to remember, how to imagine and who to forgive.
– Özge Calafato