Actor/director Sarah Polley’s documentary, Stories We Tell, is a very well-told and relatable tale of family, connection, and love.
In it, Sarah interviews several members of her family, as well as family friends, investigating her past — namely, trying to uncover who her biological father is after learning her mother had had an affair. Her mother would be the perfect person to ask, though she passed away when Sarah was eleven.
Each interview acts as a clue to lead Sarah into more searching until she finally discovers her real father. But how will she tell the dad who raised her?
Sarah pieces everyone’s stories together using old home movies, while recreating other footage (which is so good, you’ll think it is actual vintage footage). Five years later, the result is a moving, emotional tale that will make you think of your own family, the complex layers within it, and the stories you — or they — also tell. It makes you, the viewer, examine the question: Whose truth is the truth?
After the screening, cinematographer Iris Ng spoke. When asked about her work process, Ng said, “Very generally, I always like to work very closely with the director and really find out what it is we’re trying to say in this film.” She added that Stories We Tell is about “what ultimately happens when you investigate the past… [The film is] a larger story about storytelling.”
I highly recommend you see Polley’s story come to life.
Stories We Tellwill be distributed by Roadside Attractions in the U.S. this May, and was distributed by Mongrel Media in Canada last Fall.