Stories We Tell ★★★★★

Had the benefit of going into this completely blind on a bad day, so if you haven’t seen it I’m offering you the same pleasant surprise (there are many, many surprises here). Collective memory reanimates the many faces of lost loved ones, and myths are genuinely just as integral to understanding an individual as any aspirations to truthfulness. Polley questions all perspectives, and even the pursuit of shaping those perspectives, in an attempt to root herself and the concept of identity in the flow of time. In this way, and with this deep affection for its subjects, it almost reminds me of The Watermelon Woman. At the heart of all of these lofty questions—about lineage, about identity, and about memory—lies a moving and often comical story about a family that’s just trying to put it all together for themselves.

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