MovieChat Forums > Stories We Tell (2012) Discussion > End Credits (Probable Spoiler)

End Credits (Probable Spoiler)


So what is the secret revealed during the end credits that the NPR review alluded to?

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That the footage of her mother, etc. was not real and her mother was portrayed as an actress.

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That was already, briefly, silently revealed a few minutes before the end of the film with the shots of an adult Sarah Polley filming the "home movie" footage, shots of actors having makeup applied, etc.

But still, where'd the lighter fluid come from?

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That's interesting, I don't even remember the scenes of actors applying makeup. Did I watch a different version or did I just miss it? I do remember Sarah Polley filming with a Super 8. That being said, I did assume that they used some fake footage. It wouldn't make sense to have footage of a funeral. Who the hell wants to remember that?!

It's an ordinary high school day. Except that it's not.

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I didn't notice a scene like this either. I even went back and watched the last 20 minutes again. There were a few scenes of Polley behind-the-scenes with interview subjects, but I didn't notice one with the period actors. Where was it?

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It was close to the end of the film. There's a brief shot of Sarah Polley sitting at a table with the woman who played her mother in the film. It was there I thought, "What?" and the end credits confirmed it.
Does anyone remember that brief scene, maybe two seconds in length?

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I didn't see a scene like this either! And I feel a bit misled to learn that the home movie footage was faked. 😠

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It's a movie. Doesn't change the meaning.

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Not ALL of the footage is of an actress, some is of the actual Mother. I think what NPR might be referring to (I haven't heard the broadcast) is the actor's "confession" that he slept with the mom "once".............

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I am pretty sure gortx is right. I didn't believe the "once" part, by the way, but I am a suspicious SOB.

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I think what NPR might be referring to (I haven't heard the broadcast) is the actor's "confession" that he slept with the mom "once".............


as funny as this was, i don't understand why polley included this. we already know who her real father is (by 99,99%), so this is not opening up new uncertainties or anything).

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I gathered that the DNA test had not been performed when the film was in production, because I don't remember the DNA test mentioned throughout the film.

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I think they may be referring to Geoffrey Bowe's confession.

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*SPOILERS*
Bowe's confession occurs just before the end credits in the version I just saw. I think the film must have been recut because several reviewers mention a big revelation occurring during the credits, and there isn't one (it's clear from the body of the film that much of the home movie footage is staged by actors). Bowe's admission isn't that big a deal anyway, as Polley's real father has already been DNA tested.

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Bowe's admission isn't that big a deal anyway, as Polley's real father has already been DNA tested.


It certainly is a big deal.

Not in the sense of who the father is, but in the sense that we should then be questioning the "passionate" affair between Polley's biological parents.

It shows that Polley's mother had more than one affair, and certainly not just to someone who "offered her love and she took it" as Michael says. This sounded like a fling, a brief, casual sexual encounter.

It's an important aspect of her character.

Is this a woman who met someone she loved, had a passionate affair and fell in love with another man or is this a woman who needed time away from her husband, slept with a few other guys before returning to her family and old life?

If the latter is the case, then it throws into doubt everything her biological father is saying about the relationship. And that is the point of the film, how different perspectives of the same story change the story itself.

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Exactly. It was great kick at the end, just when we thought we had it all wrapped up.

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it's clear from the body of the film that much of the home movie footage is staged by actors


Not to me! I noticed she reenacted the scene of her meeting her bio dad, a couple things like that; but I had no idea the home movie footage was staged until reading it on this board.

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Bluesdoctor,

That is exactly the point of the documentary, right? It's kind of a dissection of the documentary form.

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The reveal added plenty of depth to the film and gave me one of the most "holy crap" moments I've had watching a movie lately, and that some people didn't notice it just shows that they're ready to believe whatever a documentary tells them, as I did until I realized much of the footage was faked. It made me question everything that had come before it. It's a dissection of the documentary form for that reason...can the truth ever truly be arrived at? After all, it was Polley's editing of multiple versions of the story that shaped the story in Stories We Tell, a fact that is addressed by her father. The end wasn't to "fool the viewer" so much as to acknowledge that Polley will never really know her mother...all she's doing is trying to recreate the past in order to find the truth. That is why the footage is fake...because Polley's memory of her mother is just one version of an elusive truth.

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