Movies, Documentary, Drama

Stories We Tell

No Comments 17 November 2013

Stories We Tell

We all know the dynamics of our immediate family. But unless we spent a lot of time—let’s say at the house of our best friend—we know very little about whether what happens in our family is typical or quite different from what happens in most other families.

Sarah Polley opens up her family for us. She interviews her family members and friends to tell the story of her late mother who passed away when Sarah was eleven years old. In the process, Sarah shows that what we remember about the same person is often different from others. This is not all that surprising because we have a very specific relationship to that person that is different from others.  But she also shows that we need to compose our interpretation of that relationship into a story that we can tell ourselves, a story that creates meaning. This is a brilliant film. It is not simply a documentary. Unlike in the docudramas on German TV (Die Manns, “Speer und Er”, etc.) Polley introduced reenactments that are so subtle that you first don’t realize that there are now watching actors play the roles of her young mother and father. Along with “The Turning” this is artistically the most rewarding film I have seen this year.

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Peter

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