A film that excavates layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers.

Director:

Sarah Polley

Writers:

Sarah Polley, Michael Polley (narration)
24 wins & 42 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Polley ... Self - Storyteller
Harry Gulkin ... Self - Storyteller
Susy Buchan ... Self - Storyteller
John Buchan ... Self - Storyteller
Mark Polley ... Self - Storyteller
Joanna Polley ... Self - Storyteller
Cathy Gulkin Cathy Gulkin ... Self - Storyteller
Marie Murphy ... Self - Storyteller
Robert MacMillan Robert MacMillan ... Self - Storyteller
Anne Tait ... Self - Storyteller
Deirdre Bowen ... Self - Storyteller
Victoria Mitchell ... Self - Storyteller
Mort Ransen ... Self - Storyteller
Geoffrey Bowes ... Self - Storyteller (as Geoff Bowes)
Tom Butler ... Self - Storyteller
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving sexuality, brief strong language and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sarah collected all the stories first. She went through all the period footage she had available. After that, she hired actors to recreate and reenact bits filmed on 8mm to complete the missing period footage. This explains why there is always "proof" of all the raconteurs stories. It works rather as flashbacks to place us in situation. See more »

Quotes

Herself - Storyteller: We have to reconstruct what happened in the past.
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Connections

Features Mr. Nobody (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

An Eighteenth Century Formal Ball
Written by Abraham Lass
From PLAY ME A MOVIE (Folkways Records/AH 3856)
Courtesy of TRF Production Music Libraries and Alpha Music Inc. and
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.
© 1971 Used by permission.
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User Reviews

 
Sarah Polley is one to watch
6 January 2013 | by javaman-7See all my reviews

I saw this at the Canadian top Ten Film Festival at the TIFF Lightbox in Toronto in early January of 2013. It was preceded by a "Mavericks" Q&A featuring Director Sarah Polley with the Festival's Artistic Director. Polley is best known in the USA as an actress in films such as Splice. This is her third feature as director, all of which have been chosen for the Canadian Top Ten. Even though it is a documentary about her family, it is quite riveting, with more than a few surprises. The interview style, camera work and narration are both innovative and effective. One of the interviewees asked her if she has any idea what she is doing, and she said no. After you see this, I think you will disagree. Sarah Polley is one to watch . . . as a writer-director.


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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 January 2013 (Greece) See more »

Also Known As:

Stories We Tell See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,053, 12 May 2013

Gross USA:

$1,600,145

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,641,053
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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