Sarah Polley talks to Terry Gross about how she got to know her her mother — who died when Polley was 11 — while making Stories We Tell:
Having the opportunity to sit with for many hours with most of the people that your mother was close to in her life and get to hear them talk about her ends up forming a much more full picture than the one I had before. At the same time, even though I wasn’t an adult and didn’t get to know the complexity of who she was, I had somebody say to me once, years ago, they were asking me, ‘What was your mother like?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know. She died when I was 11.’ And she said, ‘Well, what did she feel like?’
And that was an amazing window for me into the idea that … you don’t actually have to be able to articulate or intellectually know who somebody is to really know them, and that 11 years is actually a really long time — especially to have a really good mother — and it’s more than most people get in a lifetime. And I had, until I was 11 years old, a mother who made me feel like life was really exciting, that the world was really exciting, that she loved us, that she could find joy even when life had been tragic and that’s so much more than most people get. I feel incredibly grateful for that and then — obviously — so privileged to have been able to add all this new information to that picture.
Image courtesy of Roadside Attractions Publicity