“Stories We Tell” is unlike any documentary I have seen before. Yes I realize that in saying those words, it could make me sound like a pretentious asshole, but it really is something different and also quite special at the same time. The basic premise alone may be a bit difficult to sell you on. I’ll admit, I had my doubts when I first heard about this project. But the way it made me pay attention to not only the story of this one family, but the stories of my family and all other families is really quite astounding. There are tons of stories of my family that have been told before and some I still don’t know about. Not to mention the tales from other families connected to me and the ones by close friends as well. This movie’s main message is that some of the greatest stories we know are a lot closer then we think.
Director Sarah Polley(“Away From Her“)whom you may have recognized in movies like “The Sweet Hereafter” “Go” and the 2004 version of “Dawn of The Dead” put together this project to find info about the mother she barely knew. Diane Polley was an inspiring actress who died when Sarah was only 11. Her father Michael would raise her for several years , but as she grew older. Sarah began to hear tales of how different she looked and that the dad she knew. May not be her real dad after all.
Putting together interviews with family members and friends of Diane. Including footage of actors made to look like home videos. Sarah Polley puts together a really fascinating portrait of a family who may have a few secrets but look like any other family. In some instances they may even remind you of your own. Never once does the story get boring or predictable and just when you think you know where it’s heading. It slips in new facts that not only surprised us but Sarah as well. Let’s not forget that we are on this journey with her and finding new facts as she does. When she does discover new facts. It’s clear that she is not acting for the camera and it’s great to feel the same things that she is. A truly remarkable achievement.