“When you're in the middle of a story, it isn’t a story at all.” So goes the Margaret Atwood quote which opens Canadian actor and director Sarah Polley’s creative documentary about her own family story. To investigate events that took place decades ago, Polley combines interviews, reconstructions, home movies and excerpts from her father’s autobiography, which he reads to the camera himself.

»Stories We Tell« is an emotionally devastating film that reveals as many astonishing family secrets to the viewer as to Polley herself. The title captures one of this quasi-documentary’s main tenets: that family histories are as much about narratives as they are about actual events.

»Stories We Tell« is not just about the truth of Sarah Polley’s family, it’s about the relationship between truth and the stories we tell. Or, in Polley’s own words, “about our need to tell stories, to own our stories, to understand them and to have them heard.”

William O’Brian

Stories We Tell poster
Title
Stories We Tell
Director
Sarah Polley
Country
Canada
Length
108 min
Festival
2012
Section
Documania
Language
English
Premiere status
Nordic Premiere
Production year
2012
Cast
Sarah Polley, Michael Polley, Diane Polley
Producer
Anita Lee, Silva Basmajian
Script
Sarah Polley
Music
Jonathan Goldsmith
See all films from the 2012 festival