Stories We Tell

‘I think I could love Jonathan, if he wasn’t…’ she giggled to her equally skinny-jeaned, equally young and fresh-faced friend as we entered that air tight bubble that happens momentarily in the turning door, locking us all into her secret, ‘Well… If he wasn’t such a guy.’

The doors spat us out into the unseasonably warm air, a berg wind blowing in our next storms. The salted sea air carried off their fluttering secret as they giggled away, arm-in-arm, presumably to wait for one of their mothers to pick them up. 9 PM was obviously pick-up time, but their lives spread before them. Stories, just waiting to happen. So many stories.

We’d been to watch the documentary, Stories We Tell. It’s made by a Canadian woman, who pieces together her family story, with the input of all of her family members, except her mother, who died when she was 11-years old. This was one of the major reasons for making the movie, it seems. The desire to piece together her vibrant, almost untameable, mother’s story. The film-maker is the youngest of four in what, outwardly, seems like an average, happy family. Like you and me.

But, through the film, we learn that actually, all was not always as it seemed (again, like you and me), as much to their surprise, I think, as ours. It’s beautifully shot, honestly (and humorously) narrated and left me wanting to meet the family, to be friends with them.

It’s what we all know – every family, every friendship has complexities and intricacies and secrets. They weave together to make our stories, and each story is different, according to who lives or narrates it. They’re all, regardless from which angle, beautiful and poignant and bittersweet and, very often, funny.

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