“Stories We Tell” and How We See Things

Earlier today I saw — and highly recommend — “Stories We Tell”, a riveting and thought-provoking 2012 documentary directed by Sarah Polley of Ontario with major support by the National Film Board of  Canada.   While the surface-level story is about the members of a family recounting their personal perspectives on the once carefree and now-deceased family matriarch and a secret that she kept from them, this wonderful, award-winning film goes further by gently prompting its viewers to reflect on the nature of truth, memory, relationships and certain aspects of the human condition.  The way in which this loving family and friends deal with these perplexing issues is a beautiful example of a kind of grace to be treasured.

“Stories We Tell” also very much brings to mind Jeff Lemire’s Essex Countywhich eloquently uses the graphic novel  genre to ponder tricky issues of truth and memory and which, coincidentally, also involves the search for meaning after the revelation of long-held family secrets.

Official website for the film and more info is here.

Essex County and the Lens of Memory

Essex County by Jeff Lemire

After stumbling upon Jeff Lemire’s “The Underwater Welder”, I then sought out Essex County”, his widely praised 2009 graphic novel about life across several generations in a small county in rural Ontario.  Wow!  What a masterfully written (and drawn) elegy about the power and frailties of memory and personal connections.  Highly recommended.

Essex County -- Jimmy Used To Be A Good Hockey Player

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Essex County -- I've Been Here Before

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Essex County -- Playing Hockey

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