IMDb > Stories We Tell (2012)
Stories We Tell
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Stories We Tell (2012) More at IMDbPro »

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Stories We Tell -- A film that excavates layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers.
Stories We Tell -- Clip: Other Children


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7.6/10   6,661 votes »
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Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Sarah Polley (written by)
Michael Polley (narration)
View company contact information for Stories We Tell on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 January 2013 (Greece) See more »
A film that excavates layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
22 wins & 24 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Sarah Polley's touching documentary wallows in greatness both in cinema and emotion... See more (42 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Michael Polley ... Himself - Storyteller
Harry Gulkin ... Himself - Storyteller
Susy Buchan ... Herself - Storyteller
John Buchan ... Himself - Storyteller
Mark Polley ... Himself - Storyteller
Joanna Polley ... Herself - Storyteller
Cathy Gulkin ... Herself - Storyteller
Marie Murphy ... Herself - Storyteller
Robert MacMillan ... Himself - Storyteller
Anne Tait ... Herself - Storyteller
Deirdre Bowen ... Herself - Storyteller
Victoria Mitchell ... Herself - Storyteller
Mort Ransen ... Himself - Storyteller
Geoffrey Bowes ... Himself - Storyteller (as Geoff Bowes)

Tom Butler ... Himself - Storyteller
Pixie Bigelow ... Herself - Storyteller
Claire Walker ... Herself - Storyteller
Rebecca Jenkins ... Diane Polley

Peter Evans ... Michael Polley
Alex Hatz ... Harry Gulkin
Justin Goodhand ... John Buchan
Seamus Morrison ... Mark Polley

Allie MacDonald ... Joanna Polley
Lani Billard ... Susy Buchan

Andrew Church ... Geoff Bowes

Dave Kiner ... Wayne Robson

Jef Mallory ... Tom Butler
Kristen Corvers ... Deirdre Bowen

Christine Horne ... Anne Tait

Jeanie Calleja ... Victoria Mitchell
James Downing ... Mort Ransen
Tracey Ferencz ... Aunt Sheila
Eric Hanson ... Mark Polley (age 11)
Kaylin Griffin ... Joanna Polley (age 8)
Mairtin O'Carrigan ... Director (1967)

Thomas Hauff ... Actor (The Caretaker)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wayne Curnew ... Garbage Collector (uncredited)
Diane Polley ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Sarah Polley ... Herself (uncredited)

Directed by
Sarah Polley 
Writing credits
Sarah Polley (written by)

Michael Polley (narration)

Produced by
Silva Basmajian .... executive producer
Sonia Hosko .... producer: Interview with Michael
Anita Lee .... producer
Cinematography by
Iris Ng (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Mike Munn  (as Michael Munn)
Casting by
John Buchan 
Jason Knight 
Production Design by
Lea Carlson 
Set Decoration by
David Gruer 
Costume Design by
Sarah Armstrong 
Makeup Department
Teena Black .... daily makeup artist
Teena Black .... makeup assistant
Lily Champniss .... daily hair stylist
Lily Champniss .... hair assistant
Sarah Craig .... makeup artist (as Sarah Craig-McEathron)
Alastair Muir .... daily makeup artist
Alastair Muir .... makeup assistant
Lucy Orton .... daily hair stylist
Lucy Orton .... hair assistant
Josie Stewart .... hair stylist
Production Management
Janine Heath .... production manager
Lorraine Samuel .... post-production supervisor
Mark Wilson .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Forsyth .... first assistant director
Art Department
Stephen Depko .... set dresser
Deirdra Morris .... buyer
Sasha Tolstoy .... set dresser
Paul Vernon .... property master
Deirdre Hughes .... graphic designer (uncredited)
Sound Department
Shawn Dickey .... mix operator
Barry Gilmore .... dialogue editor
Krystin Hunter .... dialogue editor
Mandy Ley .... audio coordinator
Sanjay Mehta .... sound recordist
Joe Morrow .... sound re-recording mixer
David Rose .... sound recordist: Interview with Michael
David Rose .... supervising sound editor
Lou Solakofski .... sound re-recording mixer
Graham Rogers .... assistant re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Adam Crosby .... electric
Michael Gibson .... still photographer
Bob Gordon Sr. .... additional camera
Sean Harvey .... grip
Christine Kleckner .... additional camera
Walter Klymkiw .... gaffer: Montreal
Christiopher Logan .... grip
Marcus Matyas .... additional camera
Kendall McColl .... daily gaffer
Hugh McJanet .... additional camera
Hugh McJanet .... gaffer
Sanjay Mehta .... additional camera
Alejandro Munoz-Hernandez .... best boy electric
Eva Percewicz .... first assistant camera
Sarah Polley .... additional camera
David Sandomierski .... additional camera
Michael Wilde .... swing
Ken Woroner .... still photographer
Zach Zohr .... key grip
Casting Department
Nancy Botting-Harrison .... background casting: Exact Cast (as Nancy Harrison)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Adrienne Baker .... costume assistant
Nola Chaters .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Darcy Arthurs .... digital intermediate producer: Technicolor Toronto
Grace Carnale-Davis .... sales executive/representative: Technicolor Toronto
Joscelyn Goode .... film timer: Technicolor Toronto
Rob Gyorgy .... digital intermediate on-line editor: Technicolor Toronto (as Rev. Rob Gyorgy)
Mark Kueper .... digital intermediate colorist: Technicolor Toronto
Justin Lovell .... additional dailies: Frame Discreet
Margaret Mansell .... digital film technician: Technicolor Toronto
Michelle Morris .... project manager: Technicolor New York
Josh Olive .... dailies colorist: Technicolor New York
Andrew Pascoe .... digital film supervisor: Technicolor Toronto
Brian Reid .... digital intermediate technical operations project manager: Technicolor Toronto
Music Department
Jonathan Goldsmith .... music arranger
Elizabeth Klinck .... music clearances
Transportation Department
Paul Brideau .... driver
Chris Rowles .... generator driver
Other crew
Kelley Alexander .... marketing manager
Cynthia Amsden .... unit publicist
Adam Belanger .... production assistant
Graeme Brown .... production assistant
Julian Brown .... title designer: ON THE CHASE! Motion + Design
Ryan Buller .... production assistant
Catherine Crawford .... location scout
Marc Cunningham .... assistant location manager: Montreal
Stephanie Dagg .... craft service
Fernando DaSilva .... assistant location manager (as Fernando Da Silva)
Missy Dingman .... set production assistant: New York
Matt Hunwicks .... set production assistant (as Matthew Hunwicks)
Christine Kleckner .... production coordinator
Elizabeth Klinck .... visual researcher
Roman Martyn .... location manager: Montreal
Marcus Matyas .... technical coordinator
Jennifer Mesich .... set production coordinator
Josiah Rothenberg .... centre administrator
Kate Vollum .... production coordinator
Dawn Weaver .... craft service
Eardley Wilmot .... location manager
Andrew Martin-Smith .... assistant: studio administration (uncredited)
Hussain Amarshi .... thanks
Stephen Andrews .... thanks
Sarah Arruda .... thanks
Michael Ball .... archival footage and photos courtesy of
Doug Block .... thanks
Dan Bowman .... thanks
John Buchan .... archival footage and photos courtesy of
John Buchan .... special thanks
Susy Buchan .... archival footage and photos courtesy of
Brent Carver .... archival footage and photos courtesy of
Yung Chang .... thanks
Jody Colero .... thanks
Paul Cowan .... thanks
Chris Curreri .... thanks
Chris Donaldson .... thanks
Wayne Dunkley .... thanks
Atom Egoyan .... thanks
Polley Family .... archival footage and photos courtesy of
Gerry Flahive .... thanks
Lindsay Forslund .... thanks
Arnie Gelbart .... thanks
Phillipe Godeau .... thanks
Bob Gordon Jr. .... archival footage and photos courtesy of
Bob Gordon Jr. .... thanks
Bob Gordon Sr. .... archival footage and photos courtesy of
Gisele Gordon .... thanks
Allison Grant .... thanks
John Greyson .... thanks
Cathy Gulkin .... archival footage and photos courtesy of
Corey Gulkin .... thanks
Harry Gulkin .... archival footage and photos courtesy of
Sturla Gunnarsson .... thanks (as Sturla Gunnarson)
Roslyn Kalloo .... thanks
Alan King .... thanks
France Lachapelle .... the producer would like to thank
Helen Lee .... thanks
Jared Leto .... thanks
Anria Loubser .... thanks
Sheena Macdonald .... thanks
Lea Marin .... thanks
Jerry McIntosh .... thanks
Kevin McMahon .... special thanks
Rebecca Mead .... thanks
Peter Mettler .... thanks
Linda Muir .... archival footage and photos courtesy of
Myron Natwick .... thanks
Kenneth Oakley .... the producer would like to thank
Michael Ondaatje .... thanks
Nick de Pencier .... thanks
Ruth Penner .... thanks
Anton Piatagorsky .... thanks
Mary Plasterer .... thanks
Jeffrey Remedios .... thanks
Ava Roth .... thanks
Kerri Sakamoto .... thanks
David Sandomierski .... thanks
Shelley Saywell .... thanks
Dixie Seattle .... thanks
Tim Southam .... thanks
Catherine Spence .... thanks
Jeffrey St. Jules .... thanks
Barry Stevens .... thanks
Amy Stewart .... thanks
Mick Sullivan .... thanks
Michael Tait .... thanks
Jane Tattersall .... thanks
Lorna Teare .... the producer would like to thank
Jaco Van Dormael .... thanks
John Walker .... thanks
Larry Weinstein .... thanks
Wim Wenders .... thanks
David Wharnsby .... thanks
Cindy Witten .... special thanks
Romas Zabas .... thanks
Nicola Zavaglia .... thanks
Alan Zweig .... thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving sexuality, brief strong language and smoking
108 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

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.See more »
Movie Connections:
Features Mr. Nobody (2009)See more »
Ain't MisbehavinSee more »


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24 out of 35 people found the following review useful.
Sarah Polley's touching documentary wallows in greatness both in cinema and emotion..., 9 May 2013

Sarah Polley continues to become one of the most innovative and inventive directors working today and its proved by what she spills out on the silver screen in her newest endeavor Stories We Tell. A compelling and personal documentary about her own life, Stories We Tell blends and fuses the magic of non-fiction with the imagination of the cinematic mind.

Telling the story of her own inception, family life, and personal struggle with her own sense of being, Sarah Polley invites the audience into a world that otherwise would seem shameful and dreary but ends up rising triumphant and inspired. While documentaries often take a very serious, somber, and issue-driven approach, Polley's film proves that real life can be just as magnetic without an epiphany of theatrics or cheap camera tricks. Stories We Tell takes cinematic risks that pay off tremendously in both execution partnered with Iris Ng's stunning cinematography. This is one of the best things that the movies have offered this year yet.

When one takes on a personal subject like their family, you always run the risk of starting your film with a wall between you and the audience from the first frame. Family is one of those things that you can only appreciate when you're a part of the madness. If I sit here and tell you countless stories of brothers and sisters bickering, falling in an apple ditch, or simply the origin of our creations, a disinterest may become prevalent because what makes my story any more real than yours? Unless we have some extraordinary circumstances, family is all relative and subjective. Polley's family feels real. While there are painstakingly clear alignments between my family life and hers, the film goes beyond anything that documentaries have offered viewers before. It's not too often you grow to care about members of a family in a 108 minute stretch unless your last name is Brady, Seaver, or Winslow. It's amazing to watch one story, told from different perspectives, yielding different results and emotions. Why Polley decided to do it, I'm not so sure. Maybe it was her own way of making sense of her unfortunate hand that was dealt or perhaps it was a way of release, living with so many unanswered questions, possibly still until this day. I'm grateful she let me in to tell her story. We should all be grateful.

There are surprises, innuendos, and things that the film embraces that must be saved for anyone on the first viewing. All I can say is, Polley has likely set a new precedent and encouragement for filmmakers to do similar experiments in the future. A film such as this that follows the life of people like Jack Nicholson or Angelina Jolie would definitely build an anticipation for many to see. Stories We Tell is kind to soul and heartwarmingly relevant. A film to be remembered. The film played at this year's Montclair Film Festival and is scheduled to be released May 17, 2013.

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