‘Stories We Tell’: Review

Stories We Tell

Sarah Polley has created a film that’s simultaneously touching and inventive. A documentary that really not a documentary that we’ve known in the traditional sense. I guess it could be boring learning about somebody’s upbringing besides yourself, but this develops everything beyond that. Even further than the “twist” of the film where Polley finds out the exact nature of where she’s from, the film operates so differently.

It’s not so much a straightforward documentary in where it expounds upon the medium, having creating a narrative within it, and actually having actors to star as real life characters. Polley perfectly examines her family through her relatives and people who’ve been in contact with her throughout the year. It’s simultaneously intriguing and fascinating within the context of something so simply as somebody’s family.

Polley has recreated the documentary genre in where it’s not just an endless spiel of information. Her subject is obviously insanely close to her, and outside of the brilliant retelling through her family members sees recreations by actors to show some colour in what she is expressing.

It remains such a beautiful film about family, discovery, adventure, and a journey that reminds of the craziness of life, and the unknowing of what is exactly true. Polley set out to document her family upbringing and discovered so much more, how she was defined as a child and how she grew up, different from how one would consider. Polley directed a film that so beautifully captured the essence of family, and how it could be so brilliantly shifted into more than just a “documentary.”


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