Stories We Tell

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Stories We Tell

Sarah Polley (2012)

104min
12A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Having set a successful acting career aside to move behind the camera, Canada's Sarah Polley turns to her own family history for this engrossing documentary portrait of seriously unusual domestic circumstances. It had long been an in-family joke that Sarah didn't look much like her siblings, but what did that say about her parents' marriage? The film finds her trying to make sense of a situation further complicated by her mother's untimely death, as she pieces together revealing interviews, grainy vintage footage and a spoken narration from her father, Michael. His involvement has us wondering just whose version of the truth we're getting - something that proves increasingly difficult to answer as this startling chronicle unfolds. In human terms, it's fascinating to see such complex emotions unpicked, yet Polley also manages to highlight the uncertainties in her own film-making methods and motives as she goes along. Intimate, thought-provoking and affecting, this is exceptional on every level.

Summary

Premiere. Documentary in which film-maker Sarah Polley examines conflicting accounts of her family's history. She talks to various relatives, who each provide their account of key events, and reveals how they complement and contradict one another - and what this reveals about the concept of family and how people are shaped by such narratives.

Cast & Crew

Sarah Polley Sarah Polley
Director Sarah Polley

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Artificial EyeGuidance: Swearing, sexual references.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 28 Jun 2013
Documentary