STORIES WE TELL is a documentary film by Oscar-nominated writer/director Sarah Polley that chronicles the story of her family, including the revelation that the filmmaker was the product of an extramarital affair. The film was produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and premiered August 29, 2012 at the 69th Venice International Film Festival. It was included in the Toronto International Film Festival’s list of “Canada’s Top Ten” feature films of 2012, and was nominated for best feature length documentary at the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards.
In this inspired, genre-twisting new film, Polley discovers that the truth depends on who’s telling it. She is both filmmaker and detective as she investigates the secrets kept by a family of storytellers. She playfully interviews and interrogates a cast of characters of varying reliability, eliciting refreshingly candid, yet mostly contradictory, answers to the same questions. As each relates their version of the family mythology, present-day recollections shift into nostalgia-tinged glimpses of their mother, who departed too soon, leaving a trail of unanswered questions. Polley unravels the paradoxes to reveal the essence of family: always complicated, warmly messy and fiercely loving. The film explores the elusive nature of truth and memory, but at its core is a deeply personal film about how our narratives shape and define us as individuals and families, all interconnecting to paint a profound, funny and poignant picture of the larger human story.
The film looks at the relationship between Polley’s parents and incorporates Super-8 footage shot to look like home movies, interviews with Polley’s siblings and other relatives, and Michael Polley’s narration of his memoir. The cast includes Rebecca Jenkins, who plays Polley’s mother Diane in the Super-8 re-creations.
- via Apple