This playfully complex and gently slippery analysis of memory and personal narrative manages to engage us in what's essentially the private business, some might even say the dirty laundry, of total strangers.
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This funny and touching film could do with a bit of editing. It tends to drag a bit, especially near the end, and though we’re privy to the thoughts and feelings of Polley’s family, we’re given scant verbalized insight into her own thinking.
So Polley has gone meta — exuberantly, entertainingly, with all her heart.
Stories We Tell marks the finest of Polley's filmmaking skills by blending intimacy and intrigue to remarkable effect.
The alternately playful and elegiac Stories We Tell is wholly of a piece with her fiction work, and just as rewarding.
Polley has gone further into the thorny subject of forgiveness than any of her peers. Her movies ache with ethical quandary; Stories We Tell aches the most.
Fans of Polley’s work to date will be delighted by a documentary that serves simultaneously as a gripping mystery, a moving record of a family and a fascinating investigation into the nature of truth, memory, and the documentary form itself.
Polley tackles painful issues with candour and tact. She has a gripping tale to tell. It's a film that raises questions about the ownership of memory and ownership of narrative.
It goes on too long, but this is personal essay filmmaking at its best, one that passes that ultimate test of such self-involved projects. It has a story worth telling.