Stories We Tell at Venice

Multi-hyphenate Sarah Polley has already lovingly crafted two beautiful feature films – Away From Her and Take This Waltz - and is now expending her directorial repertoire to include a documentary that sounds as if it will fit perfectly inside her already immensely accomplished work (we’re fans of her, okay?). That new film, Stories We Tell, is now set to debut at the Venice Film Festival, and the only question more pressing than “wait, how expensive is it to fly to Venice?” is “wait, just what is this film about?”

The film is Polley’s first venture into documentary filmmaking, and one she’s been working on since 2008, when the CFC/NFB Feature Documentary Program was first unveiled. Little is known about the film, including the details of its subjects, but we do know that it centers on “a family of storytellers” that Polley interviews about the same subjects with unexpectedly different results.

Stories We Tell will have its World Premiere in the Venice Days program as part of the Venice Film Festival later this summer (August 29 –  September 8). Produced by Anita Lee and Silva Basmajian, the film was made in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and their still-blossoming feature documentary program. Check out the film’s official (though still vague) synopsis after the break.

Per today’s press release, Stories We Tell is:

In this inspired, genre-twisting film, Oscar-nominated writer/director Sarah Polley discovers that the truth depends on who’s telling it. Polley is both filmmaker and detective as she investigates the secrets behind a family of storytellers. She playfully interviews and interrogates a cast of characters of varying reliability, eliciting refreshingly candid, yet mostly contradictory, answers to the same questions. As each relates their version of the family mythology, present-day recollections shift into nostalgia-tinged glimpses of a lively, fun-loving past and the shadows just beneath. Polley unravels the paradoxes to reveal the essence of family: a complex, messy, intense and deeply loving tangle of contradictions.


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