In this inspired, genre-twisting film, Academy Award-nominated writer/director Sarah Polley discovers that the truth depends on who’s telling it. Polley is both filmmaker and detective as she investigates the secrets behind a family of storytellers.
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Spiral of events in the lives of Sarah Polley and her family unraveled through a beautifully reckoned narrative, in which the family's secrets are revealed by it's members and friends. Funny and deeply moving, it could've easily been perceived as ordinary and invasive if it wasn't for Polley's amazing ability to guide us along this journey with such respect and admiration for each character and storyteller.
There's nothing ingeniously original about her film's conception, but Polley's telling of her family's telling of her mother's story is unobtrusively dazzling in execution. Dazzling unobtrusively is no easy feat. Thoughtful, moving, and populated by charmers (including, maybe, some snake-charmers), Stories We Tell engrosses as it gropes towards its form.
★★ every family has a story — but why this one? where is its universality? what is Sarah Polley's cultural significance? why this solemnity? there's a huge discussion about history and memory lurking in here, but I need more from a documentary.
A real masterpiece from Sarah Polley, who reaffirms her ability for genius. Starkly emotional but tender and fragile at the same time. The way that she delves into the nature of tales, as well as the nature of reality, fiction and the very reliability of narratives is perfectly conceived.
TIFF '12 One of the years finest pictures; Polley's self exposing documentary examining her own family secrets and half truths. Polley's eventual discovery of her true paternity caused the genesis of the picture as she searches through other's versions of 'the story' to filter out her own and process it. Polley's fame may be a way to sell the story but the film would stand on its own regardless of it. Fascinating.
"When you’re in the middle of a story, it isn’t a story at all, but only a confusion"
An intoxicating & playful pursuit into a collective past documents how we document, how we digest and retell our lives over time.
In the beginning Sarah Polley’s ‘Stories We Tell’ straightforwardly approaches the past, it sits patiently on the rug, face upward to the interlocutor...