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Lisa Loven Kongsli,
Based on the true story of Grace Marks, a housemaid and immigrant from Ireland who was imprisoned in 1843, perhaps wrongly, for the murder of her employer Thomas Kinnear. Grace claims to ... See full summary »
In this inspired, genre-twisting new film, Oscar®-nominated writer/director Sarah Polley discovers that the truth depends on who's telling it. Polley is both filmmaker and detective as she investigates the secrets kept by a family of storytellers. She playfully interviews and interrogates a cast of characters of varying reliability, eliciting refreshingly candid, yet mostly contradictory, answers to the same questions. As each relates their version of the family mythology, present-day recollections shift into nostalgia-tinged glimpses of their mother, who departed too soon, leaving a trail of unanswered questions. Polley unravels the paradoxes to reveal the essence of family: always complicated, warmly messy and fiercely loving. Stories We Tell explores the elusive nature of truth and memory, but at its core is a deeply personal film about how our narratives shape and define us as individuals and families, all interconnecting to paint a profound, funny and poignant picture of the ... Written by
The National Film Board of Canada
Himself - Storyteller:
When you're in the middle of a story, it isn't a story at all but rather a confusion, a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood, like a house in a whirlwind or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard are powerless to stop it. It's only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all, when you're telling it to yourself or someone else.
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Actor/director Polley's first documentary Stories We Tell is about her family, and specifically about her mother and her history, leading up to a big question that is answered in the course of the film: who is Sarah's *real* father, and what happened? While some of the magic-tricks that Polley seems to be playing mixing actual 8mm film footage shot of her family at the time with (albeit very smoothly transitioned) reenactments with actors playing her mother, father, siblings, and the lover who turned out to be her biological father is a bit tiring near the end, it's ultimately a fantastic story, a wonderful and bittersweet look at the ties that bind, how we delineate truth and fiction, and that love is really what should count. It's power is when it is its simplest or when we see Polley's father in a recording booth reciting some finely written narration for her daughter (her father, by the way, is a known British actor from Canada, Michael Polley).
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