Sarah Polley: Stories We Tell /2

First in Danish and then in English: Sarah Polleys film er mesterlig. Jeg satte den på min liste over de bedste dokumentarfilm i 2012. Den er elegant fortalt, underholdende og gribende, en familiefilm eller rettere en film om en familie og en mors hemmelighed. DOXBio har sat den på programmet, et fremragende valg, 50 biografer viser den i morgen onsdag.

This is the review brought last autumn:

I watched the film with my wife, we agreed on its excellence, I took notes but did never get to the computer to write. Time has passed and I can only pass on some superlatives about a film on a family but I can not go deeper, memory fails – I line up a couple of links, including one to the director’s blog text from the NFB (National Film Board), the producing body behind the film. It is one of the most personal and intelligent texts I have read from a director for years.

Diana is the mother of the director, Michael the father, actress and actor. Rumour has it that Michael is not her father. Sarah wants to and makes a film about this, finds out who is the biological father, she tells a story as her father tells the story and others tell their story… who is then the father is maybe not so important for the film, what is important and what keeps you totally engaged and fascinated is the way Sarah Polley, an actress herself, tells her story, in a flow full of life, full of humour and joy of life, and all kinds of emotions, in a flow with private archive, made-up archive with actors, clips from performances, interviews. The mother, however, the main character, can not tell her story herself as she died, when Sarah was 11.

At the end the biological father, pretty well known in Canadian entertainment life, says to Sarah: I’m the only one who can tell the story about me and Diane. To that the answer is easy: Well, a lot of stories have come up through this elegantly made film, the director’s (one sibling as I remember it says ”and why does she want to make this film?”) and the father’s, the two of them having the most impressive scenes in the film.

Canada, 108 mins., 2012

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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