Stories We Tell, a runaway hit at True/False 2013, is now playing theaters in New York with more cities soon to follow. Sarah Polley’s autobiographical documentary debut explores an uncomfortable family secret with humor and grace, carefully combining interviews, Super-8 archival footage and sly reenactments in an inventive structure. Avoiding the obstacles of self-importance and excessive cuteness that derail similar projects, Polley uses her family’s story to explore universal questions about the elusiveness of truth, the nature of familial bonds and the role stories play in our lives.
Sarah’s father, the actor Michael Polley, serves as the film’s narrator. You can hear his elegant and resonate voice at the beginning of the film’s trailer.
It’s difficult to say much more about Stories We Tell without giving away any of its twists and turns. If you’ve seen it already or wish to read on at your own risk, there are many places to turn. Tim Grierson at Deadspin, Manhola Dargis of the New York Times and Eric Kohn at Indiewire all offer insightful reviews. Rachel Dodes interviewed Polley about the film for the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog. And you can listen to her discuss the film on San Francisco public radio.