Thursday, January 24, 2013

Stories We Tell

I listened to an interview with Sarah Polley this week in which she spoke about her award-winning documentary, Stories We Tell. Polley managed to be fairly secretive about her subject matter prior to the release of the film but it is certainly revealing. It is about the discovery that the man who raised her and is her beloved parent is not her biological father. Her mother, who died when she was young, had an affair which resulted in a pregnancy. Through the years there were jokes about Sarah not looking like Michael Polley, and some family members wondered about an affair. In the end sleuthing and a DNA test revealed her biological father's identity.

This isn't information most families want to go public but Michael taught his daughter that a good story is a gift, even one which is close to home. The title, , is as much about the stories we all carry with us as Sarah Polley's own family tale.
On Sunday I spoke about blessings for the second week and we heard the rather sordid story of Jacob's deception of his brother Esau and father Isaac.I like the fact that so many Older Testament stories share the good, the bad, and the ugly. They convey that somehow God is with the main figures in all of life, including their failing and selfishness. Jacob ends up fleeing his brother Esau after he steals his blessing, but God is always with him and eventually he returns. We are invited to see our relationships with God in the stories of grace which transcend our shortcomings.

Have you seen Polley's film? I haven't, but I will. What about our unvarnished biblical family stories? How about our personal honesty?


IanD said...

Family stories like this are interesting to me because how people deal with these kinds of things can vary so much.

I'm glad that I live in a day and age where much of the "shame" surrounding "family secrets" and the like has been lessened. People need not feel that their own unique circumstances make them any more or less equal than their neighbor.

Sarah Polley telling this story helps reinforce this positive point.

Laurie said...

A very strong ,emotional movie. Loved it!