Movie review: Director gets personal with "Stories We Tell"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

“When you’re in the middle of a story, it isn’t a story at all, but only a confusion.”

This opening line is a tone-setter for Sarah Polley’s one-of-a-kind documentary “Stories We Tell.” It’s rare to see a film as bold as this.

You may know Polley as the actress from films such as “Go” or Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead” remake. More recently, she’s directed films such as the searing relationship drama “Take This Waltz.”

But this project is personal, one of the most personal films you will see, in fact. Polley interviews family and family friends for their versions of a particular family event — one of life-changing importance to Polley herself.

It certainly helps the film that Polley comes from a family of amazing storytellers and that she puts them at ease from behind the camera.

The joys of the film come in the reveals of old family secrets. “Stories” also seamlessly incorporates actor recreations without interrupting its flow

It’s a deeply intriguing look at how memories distort and how families adapt. This will be one of the highlights of Documentary Week at the Gateway.

"Stories We Tell"

Select showings at the Gateway Film Center

3 1/2 stars out of 4