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Stories We Tell Single Film Study

jclarke | Sunday November 25, 2018

Categories: A Level, OCR A Level, Eduqas (WJEC) A Level, Analysis, Film Analysis, Films & Case Studies, Directors, Sarah Polley, Non-Hollywood Films, Stories We Tell, Genres & Case Studies, Documentary

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_8BnZ471GY

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Context

Cinema is always evolving and it’s an exciting process to witness, to explore and to understand. A film such as Stories We Tell is just one example of many notable films that have gone quite some way in transcending its original moment of release to become something of a landmark in contemporary cinema. In this instance, we are considering a film that reinforced the value and interest of the documentary form as a globally popular and highly regarded form of cinema.

A documentary film, Stories We Tell provokes a range of considerations around the filmic treatment of a subject and the role of the ‘author’ of a film and their ‘role’ in that film. Related to our thinking about this it’s worth referring to a very useful book that typically finds its way into undergraduate reading lists but which would be well-placed in libraries for A Level Film Studies students it is Michael Rabiger’s book Directing the Documentary Film. In that volume, Rabiger says of documentary that “The more intricate the issues, the more difficult it will become to strike a balance between clarity and simpliciy on the one hand and fidelity to the murkiness and complexities of actual life on the other.” [1]

Every film reflects (some of) the concerns of its time and the particular ways of looking at the world within the culture, the society, and the moment in time from which it is produced.

To fully understand a film, you need to know something of the era in which it was produced. As you will have already considered in your Edusites Core Units, film is very much a cultural artefact, a reflection of the society that created and watched...


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