Stories We Tell is a prize winning documentary by Sarah Polley, a film maker who isn't afraid of complexity, in fact, needs it and seems to revel in it as she tells the story of discovering her actual paternity. The film weaves real interviews with family members with home movies and with acted scenes from the past as well as some, I think, faux home movies. The honesty and love and searching for words to handle a complex set of emotions is deeply affecting.
Strange to say, seeing this documentary yesterday afternoon was just one part of a 24 hour period in which I heard more family stories told than, probably, I've heard in the last year. Thursday evening at a monthly story slam at the Cape Cod Chat House (my family and I are regulars and addicted to the format), the topic was family. So several people including daughter and son-in-law told stories, as did quite a few other people (not I). At lunch yesterday Patti told me of recently discovering an extended Swedish family that she knew nothing at all about and then after the film, Lili, who produces this class of documentaries, told about recently discovering branches of her complex family and that she'll go to Texas next week to meet members of the family she hadn't known about until very recently.
I'm amazed that these stories all were told in such a short period of time. They are all complex, as Sarah Polley's story is. That she, with help from her two writer fathers (the one she grew up with and the one she discovered is her biological father), produced a very coherent, beautifully edited, beautifully produced film. It won a grand prize at a Canadian film festival (she is Canadian) and was the hit at the Sundance Festival earlier this year. I would not be surprised if it's a nominee for an Oscar and I very much hope Sarah is nominated for an Oscar as best director.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!