After a successful career as an actress, both in Canadian TV (Ramona, Road to Avonlea, Slings and Arrows) and film (The Sweet Hereafter, My Life Without Me) Sarah Polley decided to spend time behind the camera (Away from Her, Take This Waltz). Her first documentary, Stories We Tell, finds the director/actress exploring a family secret. In an effort to fully understand this long-held family confidence, Polley interviewed members of her family. She had her dad write and record his version of the story, using his reading as a recurring voiceover throughout the film.
More than a documentary about her family, Sarah Polley set out to make a film about the nature of documentary and the documentary as a form of storytelling.
“…the process of watching a story take on a life of its own, mutate, and change in so many other people’s words fascinated me. And as the story was told, or perhaps because the story was told – it changed. So I decided to make a film about our need to tell stories, to own our stories, to understand them, and to have them heard.” - Sarah Polley, National Film Board of Canada blog
“Stories We Tell is a challenging work, with that startling use of reconstructions, which are arguably self-conscious and in questionable taste. But it is compellingly vivid and heartfelt, with a real story to tell.” - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, June 27, 2013
(Directed by Sarah Polley, Canada, 2012, 108 min., color/b&w, Rated PG)
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