Stories We Tell
CANADA / 2012 / English / Color / 35mm / 108 min
Director: Sarah Polley
Photography: Iris Ng
Editing: Michael Munn
Sound: Sanjay Mehta
Music: Jonathan Goldsmith
Narration: Michael Polley
Producer: Anita Lee
Production Company and World Sales: National Film Board of Canada
A new documentary by Sarah Polley, director and the muse of Atom Egoyan’s films, starting with Sweet Hereafter. Sarah tells us about her parents and family, while her siblings, relatives, and others provide testimony. At a glance this appears to be a common, “self-discovery” film. However the line it draws between fact and fable is ambiguous, and the director soon makes her intentions known. Stories We Tell is a personal film overflowing with originality. It offers audiences an unpredictable plot twist as it effortlessly jumps the border between documentary and fiction.
[Director’s Statement] Stories We Tell combines my fascination with relationships and my desire to experiment with storytelling in hopes of simultaneously revealing the many truths that exist. Since I was about 19 or 20, I have been thinking about these things, which is why every short film I have ever made has been about long-term relationships, like Away from Her and Take This Waltz. But if I have learned anything from making this film, it is that we can’t all be right and we can’t all be wrong. We must unintentionally distort things to varying degrees in order to feed our own version of what we need the past and history to be, and, in our own way, we must be telling the truth as well.
Sarah Polley is a writer and director whose dramatic features include Away from Her (nominated in 2007 for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and winner of the 2008 Genie Awards for Best Motion Picture and Achievement in Direction) and Take This Waltz (2011), starring Seth Rogen, Michelle Williams and Sarah Silverman.