The Stories We Tell (2013) — Canada
Every family has a story, but who gets to tell that story? And how reliable is the story when there are multiple actors with different perspectives, memories and motives? At the simplest level, the actress-writer-director Sarah Polley tells the story of her own family, particularly as it revolved around her mother who died when she was eleven. She gathers her four siblings, father, and friends, "interrogates" them with questions, and lets the camera roll. Old family movies provide images for the narrative. But percolating beneath the sanitized version of the narrative are a long-running joke, unanswered questions, contradictions, and untold secrets. Who knows the truth and can tell it? Who gets to control the plot? This movie presents a paradox. It's not clear why we should care about Polley's family story, but nonetheless, in telling her story, we realize how much myth and memory intertwine in all of our family narratives.