Stories We Tell

Stories We Tell

5.0 1
Director: Sarah Polley

Cast: Sarah Polley, Michael Polley, Harry Gulkin, Susy Buchan

     
 

Sarah Polley's documentary Stories We Tell finds the director/actress exploring a family secret. She had discovered a few years earlier that her biological father was not actually the person she knew as her father; in an effort to fully understand this long-held family secret, Polley interviews every member of her family, and had the man she thought of as herSee more details below

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Overview

Sarah Polley's documentary Stories We Tell finds the director/actress exploring a family secret. She had discovered a few years earlier that her biological father was not actually the person she knew as her father; in an effort to fully understand this long-held family secret, Polley interviews every member of her family, and had the man she thought of as her dad write his version of events and record it, using him reading his story as a recurring voiceover throughout the film. Stories We Tell screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
When most young filmmakers speak of their awe for Orson Welles, they're generally talking about Citizen Kane, the movie that made the man a legend when he was still in his twenties. At age 34, Sarah Polley draws inspiration not from the enfant terrible Welles, but from the older, slyer director for her autobiographical documentary Stories We Tell -- a work that turns the playful trickery of the master's F for Fake into a deeply personal examination of love and the power of storytelling. Polley discovered something that radically altered her understanding of herself -- she found out that the person she had called "dad" her whole life was not in fact her biological father. This sent her on a search to uncover who was, and years after that she made this documentary that attempts to tell the entire story. Candid remarks from her siblings -- who paint a warts-and-all picture of their parents' occasionally rocky marriage -- are intercut with startling home-movie footage that's so prescient you'll start to wonder if someone was filming every moment of the family's lives. We meet actors who worked with Polley's mother, and they attest to the fact that she was a free spirit who charmed those with whom she came into contact. As layer after layer of this intimate and intricate emotional story is revealed by Polley, who expertly juggles her own recollections with those of her family members, we get caught up not just in the mystery, but in the distinct dynamics of the Polley clan. Her brothers and sisters all explain how their mom and dad's troubles led to their own behavior in relationships as adults, as well as the occasional spats between each other. Then, just as it seems the film can't get any deeper, Polley begins to play with the idea of narrative itself, exploring not just how different people perceive the same events, but how whom we hear a story from affects how we process it. It's a remarkably ambitious theme to tackle in a documentary that's already so close to the director, and Polley pulls it off, turning what could easily have been little more than a tabloidy, self-serving autobiographical doodle into an engrossing declaration of her artistic mission. With Away From Her and Take This Waltz, actress Sarah Polley became one of the freshest directorial voices of her generation. Stories We Tell doesn't just solidify this assertion, it makes you reappraise how personal those first two films are for her. This picture gets you to think about relationships; how they alter over time, shape who we are, and how we define them to others. When you realize that is the core of not just this movie, but also her other two features, it's easy to see how Stories We Tell is the profoundly natural evolution of this gifted young filmmaker. It's arguably the most thorough cinematic autobiography ever made.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/03/2013
UPC:
0031398174219
Original Release:
2012
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:48:00
Sales rank:
4,173

Special Features

cc Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Polley Narrator,Storyteller
Harry Gulkin Storyteller
Susy Buchan Storyteller
John Buchan Storyteller
Mark Polley Storyteller
Joanna Polley Storyteller
Cathy Gulkin Storyteller
Marie Murphy Storyteller
Robert MacMillan Storyteller
Anne Tait Storyteller
Deirdre Bowen Storyteller
Victoria Mitchell Storyteller
Mort Ransen Storyteller
Geoffrey Bowes Storyteller
Tom Butler Storyteller
Pixie Bigelow Storyteller
Claire Walker Storyteller
Rebecca Jenkins Diane Polley
Peter Evans Michael Polley
Alex Hatz Harry Gulkin

Technical Credits
Sarah Polley Director,Screenwriter
Sarah Armstrong Costumes/Costume Designer
Silva Basmajian Executive Producer
John Buchan Casting
Lea Carlson Production Designer
Sarah Craig-McEathron Makeup
Dave Forsyth Asst. Director
Jonathan Goldsmith Score Composer,Musical Arrangement
Janine Heath Production Manager
Jason Knight Casting
Anita Lee Producer
Mike Munn Editor
Iris Ng Cinematographer
Michael Polley Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Stories We Tell
1. A Story [6:23]
2. Who Cares? [8:25]
3. Good Husband [6:11]
4. Dangerous [4:26]
5. Final Act [4:35]
6. Sunday Dinner [7:25]
7. Seed Of Doubt [8:39]
8. First Marriage [7:23]
9. A Child [8:40]
10. DNA Test [12:16]
11. Writing [3:54]
12. Your Version [6:50]
13. What To Keep [4:52]
14. Loved [8:11]
15. My Dear Sarah [5:21]
16. End Credits [5:06]

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