Stories We Tell

Watch Stories We Tell

  • PG-13
  • 2013
  • 1 hr 48 min
  • 7.5  (14,049)
  • 91

The movie Stories We Tell is a documentary directed by Canadian actress and filmmaker Sarah Polley. It was released in 2012 and stars Michael Polley, John Buchan, and Mark Polley. The documentary explores the director's family history, specifically her mother's life, by interviewing family members, friends and acquaintances and by showing old footage of her mother on the screen.

The film opens with Sarah Polley explaining that she grew up believing that Michael Polley was her biological father. However, in 2006, she discovered through a conversation with her sisters that her mother, Diane Polley, had an affair during their marriage with a man named Harry who may be Sarah's biological father. The director's aim was to explore the truth about her mother's life and her own identity.

What follows is an intricate and compelling narrative that doesn't shy away from difficult truths or complex family dynamics. As Sarah Polley interviews various members of her family, each person has a slightly different version of events, and the film plays with the notion that the truth is elusive and filled with multiple perspectives.

The film is an exploration of memory, perception, and storytelling. Through various interviews with family members, the documentary reveals how the stories that we tell ourselves and others about our pasts can shape how we see ourselves in the present. The film also touches on themes of family secrets and the way that these secrets can shape family dynamics in both positive and negative ways.

One of the most compelling parts of the film is its use of home movies and re-enactments. The director uses home movies to recreate scenes from her family's past and to give viewers a visual sense of what her mother was like. The re-enactments are particularly effective because they are done in a way that allows the audience to see how unreliable memories can be. For example, when Sarah Polley asks her siblings to recount a particular conversation they all had with their mother, each person has a different memory of what was said.

Overall, the film is beautifully done and deeply personal. It's clear that Sarah Polley had a lot of love and respect for her mother and her family, but she doesn't gloss over the difficulties that they faced or shy away from presenting different sides of each story. It's a film that explores the complexities of family and the way that we construct our own narratives of identity.

The film's pacing is careful and deliberate, and the use of music and voiceover is effective in setting the tone and conveying emotions. The film is moving, thought-provoking, and ultimately a meditation on the power of storytelling.

In conclusion, Stories We Tell is a fascinating and deeply personal documentary that explores the complexities of family, memory, and storytelling. Sarah Polley is a talented filmmaker and her care and respect for her family are evident throughout the documentary. The film is an excellent example of how personal stories can be both universal and relatable to viewers from all walks of life.

Stories We Tell is a 2013 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 48 minutes. It has received poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 91.

Stories We Tell
Where to Watch Stories We Tell
Stories We Tell is available to watch free on The Roku Channel Free and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Stories We Tell for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 48 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (14,049)
  • Metascore