With its ingenious structure, seamless visual conceits and mordant humor, Stories We Tell is a masterful film on technical and aesthetic values alone. But because of the wisdom and compassion of its maker, it rises to another level entirely.
Fans of Polley’s work to date will be delighted by a documentary that serves simultaneously as a gripping mystery, a moving record of a family and a fascinating investigation into the nature of truth, memory, and the documentary form itself.
In the end, I was nagged by a question posed by Polley’s sister Joanna in the film’s opening minutes. “I guess I have this instinctive reaction: who cares about our ----ing family?” The answer, of course, is Polley herself, who smilingly tells us that a story like hers can never truly be tied down, even as she screws every last piece into place.
A brilliant film showcasing the true story of "a family" in a very cohesive and thought-provoking way. The depth of the subject matter is perfectly weaved all along, and the filming and editing are impressive all of which make the viewer almost feel as if he is part of the filming process, memories, and story. My favorite film of 2013 thus far (as of June 2, 2013).
The Human is a strange creature, how a person change the life of everybody with only one action. This beautiful film explains that. It's a excellent documentaries that represents the life of a family in a amazing way. It's a masterpiece.
I don't know Sarah Polley but she strikes me as very bright somewhat shy and vulnerable. These characteristics are reflected in the film. After constructing the film's framework (tell the fully story as you remember it in your own words) she lets the film unfold without heavy handed involvement. She appears very cognizant of the fact that editing would in a way tamper with the raw truth the participants are sharing.
Stories We Tell is a wonderful film. It caused me to deeply reflect on my life. I remembered, I cried, I laughed and dare I say, I changed after watching it; can't ask much more of a film.
Its perhaps paradoxical that such a personal film by Poley would elicit such a response. Its all about her family, her mother and father, her experiences. Yet these experiences have such resonance because watching you realize what a common experience we share. Everyone lives a life that leaves us with scattered memories attached to inner feelings that are very hard to organize or even retain. We don't have the luxury of interviewing our lives participants. Poley gets this chance (created the chance) and makes the best of it. She interviews her siblings, her father, their friends. The film demonstrates how our minds sometimes fill in the blanks in an illusory way or push the memory and pain to the background.
The film is worth more than the combined experience of one hundred Hollywood blockbusters. It has no car chases, no violence, no aging action hero, And it works. Every time I see a film like this I am reminded that with so many bad films produced it doesn't have to be that way. We deserve better. Thank you Sarah.
Sarah Polley’s poignant documentary: ‘Stories We Tell’; explores layers of myths and memories, through a series of intimate interviews, to uncover absolute truths in her very own family of storytellers. Many family members and friends were interviewed to gain different perspectives on the drama within the family; and as incite is gained the mystery surrounding Sarah’s charismatic mother’s extramarital affairs sparks questions about the identity of her true biological father. “Who the f*** cares about our family?” asks one of Sarah’s sisters in the beginning of the documentary. However, if there’s an interesting story at play (even within the context a seemingly ordinary or a blatantly complicated family) isn’t it worth being told. Words can’t express how happy I am this one was told, because it made for an intriguing and ethereal viewing experience. Polley’s meta approach to directing this doc, whereby the making of the film is as crucial a part of the story as the actual stories it's documenting, was quite inventive. Her use of super 8 footage to resemble home videos was very well spliced with the series of aforementioned interviews, thanks to fine editing by Mike Munn. It’s just a finely tuned and an excellently made documentary.
Sarah Polley is best known as an actor, but she decided to make this film about her family, specifically her vivacious mother and the affair she had with Polley's father. This film is made up of interviews with every member of her family (and then some), as well as lots of footage from their past. The momentum until she discovers the truth is well-paced and compelling. The last third bogs down in wordy debates about truth and memory (fewer people translates into less energy). There are surprises which upend the entire project, but you'll have to sit thru it to find out. If ur into talky docs, you might find it worthwhile.