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Stories We Tell

Réalisé par Sarah Polley
Canada, 2012 (documentaire, 109 minutes, couleurs / noir et blanc, anglais)
Autres titres : « Apáim története », « Histórias que Contamos », « Historie rodzinne », « Les histoires qu'on raconte »
Stories We Tell
Image : © Office national du film du Canada

Description du film :
« Dans ce documentaire inspiré qui renouvelle le genre, la scénariste et réalisatrice sélectionnée aux Oscars Sarah Polley découvre que la vérité est bien subjective. Jouant les détectives, Polley explore les secrets d'une famille de conteurs. Sur un ton mi-sérieux, elle interroge une série de personnages plus ou moins dignes de foi, obtenant des réponses étonnamment candides, mais combien contradictoires aux mêmes questions. Pendant que chacun relate sa version de la légende familiale, les souvenirs récents se muent en retours nostalgiques ou en questions qui demeurent sans réponse quant à la mère disparue. Polley éclaire les paradoxes pour mettre au jour l'essence même de la famille : un mélange complexe, délicat et intense de sentiments contradictoires et de profonde tendresse. Les histoires qu'on raconte explore la mémoire et la nature insaisissable de la vérité afin d'examiner comment les récits façonnent les individus et les liens familiaux. Film éminemment personnel, il brosse un portrait tendre, drôle et émouvant de la grande famille humaine. »
-- Office national du film du Canada (source)

Générique (partiel) :
Scénario : Sarah Polley
Produit par : Anita Lee, Silva Basmajian
Interprètes principaux : Rebecca Jenkins, Peter Evans, Alex Hatz, Justin Goodhand, Seamus Morrison, Allie MacDonald, Lani Billard, Andrew Church, Dave Kiner, Jef Mallory, Kristen Corvers, Christine Horne, Jeanie Calleja, James Downing, Tracey Ferencz, Eric Hanson, Kaylin Griffin, Mairtin O'Carrigan, Thomas Hauff
Participants : Michael Polley, Harry Gulkin, Susy Buchan, John Buchan, Mark Polley, Joanna Polley, Cathy Gulkin, Marie Murphy, Robert MacMillan, Anne Tait, Deirdre Bowen, Victoria Mitchell, Mort Ransen, Geoffrey Bowes, Tom Butler, Pixie Bigelow, Claire Walker
Images : Iris Ng
Montage images : Michael Munn
Société de production : National Film Board of Canada / Office national du film du Canada
Générique additionnel : Narration writer [auteur de la narration]: Michael Polley

Prix décernés à Stories We Tell

Notes sur Stories We Tell


Citations de la réalisatrice

« J'ai été estomaquée de constater que ce petit film sur mon histoire familiale pouvait intéresser les gens et les toucher de cette façon. Je crois que les spectateurs pensent à leur propre famille en regardant ce film. Et s'identifient d'une manière ou d'une autre à mon histoire. Pour ma part, il y a fort à parier que je ne pourrai jamais réaliser un autre film qui résonnera en moi de façon aussi personnelle. »
-- Sarah Polley (source)

« J'aime toujours me placer à la frontière du vrai et du faux. Je cherchais aussi à mélanger les notions de narration, de mémoire et de vérité tout en jouant sur la forme et la structure. C'est surtout un film sur la manière de raconter des histoires, et du besoin que nous avons tous de les exprimer. »
-- Sarah Polley (source)

Citations de la réalisatrice [en anglais]

« I think I like documentaries more than anything else, but I struggle with the ethical stuff, the manipulation and portraying people in a way that becomes permanent in the minds of people they don't know, having that kind of control over how people are perceived. In one way it was harder with this film [Stories We Tell] because it was my family, but also the stakes were also so high I could trust myself to be making ethical decisions. »
-- Sarah Polley (source)

« I wanted to share my experience of hearing the different versions and the way they were converging and diverging. And to let the audience have the experience of being the observer—being me. »
-- Sarah Polley (source)

« Stories We Tell is the film I made that I'm proudest of, because I feel like I wasn't trying to make it like anything I'd seen before—I was sort of trying to let it invent itself. What I've realized is that when you're doing something that isn't derivative, you're going to feel completely lost and completely at odds with yourself. You're going to be without confidence through the entire process, because there's nothing you can look to that's gonna make you feel better or like you know what the goal is. I've learned to actively look for that feeling of being overwhelmed and lost a little bit, and to know that—if you come out of that alive—you might end up with something you're proud of. »
-- Sarah Polley (source)

« The process of watching a story take on a life of its own, mutate, and change in so many other people's words fascinated me. And as the story was told, or perhaps because the story was told—it changed. So I decided to make a film about our need to tell stories, to own our stories, to understand them, and to have them heard. »
-- Sarah Polley (source)

« The story [for Take This Waltz] sort of came out of nowhere, I didn't know why I was writing it, and then I think it was halfway through making this film [Stories We Tell] that I kind of got it and I went, 'I think this is the film I've been making over and over again.' [...] And not just Take This Waltz but every short film I've made and Away from Her—it's always about a long-term relationship, an infidelity and in many ways how the man kind of absorbs that. [...] I think a lot of filmmakers make the same film over and over again without knowing it. It's just that now I've gone into the cave and made a film about the actual figures in the cave that were casting these shadows. »
-- Sarah Polley (source)

Citation sur Stories We Tell

« On prendra [...] intérêt à suivre les témoignages de tous les proches et de tous les intervenants de l'histoire. Il en ressort une authenticité tangible. Sans jamais s'épancher, sans jamais, non plus, s'appuyer sur des effets dramatiques, avec humour aussi parfois, Sarah Polley propose un film étonnant, universel en ce qu'il force le spectateur à se ramener à sa propre histoire. Elle ne pouvait faire plus beaux portraits de famille. »
-- Marc-André Lussier (source)

Citations sur Stories We Tell [en anglais]

« 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. »
-- Peter Bradshaw (source)

« [Sarah] Polley does not speak directly in the film; in Stories We Tell, the voice-overs [...] both reveal and conceal the filmmaker. [..] [This] is achieved by giving the primary voice-over to her father, in which Polley then features only in the third person and, very interestingly, sometimes in the second person. When the 'I' of the filmmaker does speak in voice-over in Stories We Tell, Polley is not doing so directly but rather creates a temporal and modal buffer by reading emails she wrote in the past. »
-- Sarah Dillon (source)

« The title [Stories We Tell] may appear blandly noncommittal at first glance, but proves more telling as it becomes clear that [Sarah] Polley is less concerned with family history than with family narratives, and how oft-repeated untruths and assumptions can distort or even fabricate memories. Similarly, Polley's own storytelling is deceptively artful in its orchestration: What seems a happy shuffle of freeform talking-head interviews is actually sequenced into a startling series of reveals. Meanwhile, through canny casting and filming, apparent homevideo footage emerges as wistful reconstruction, as the director underlines the pliability and artifice of all her contributors' recollections—her own included. »
-- Guy Lodge (source)

« In this sequence, [Sarah] Polley's mother Diane is happy and standing on Wallace Avenue Footbridge. The challenges of trying to determine if this is archival footage or a Super-8 recreation with Rebecca Jenkins playing Diane mirror and foreground those of telling a family story which, as Stories We Tell reveals, is constantly shaped by the narrator, his or her personal feelings and the distortion of memory. »
-- Tom Ue (source)

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