Exploring lived experiences through narratives: Sarah Polley’s “Stories We Tell” (2013)

This past week I have started to write the methodology chapter of my thesis again. It has been a document that I have been throwing stuffed into from other pieces I have wrote along the way, such as ethics applications and presentations, but now it is time to develop it into a chapter. A part of it is pull in the theory behind why I did I it the way I did, the methodology which the whole research is framed by. One of the main thing I wanted to do is to allow people who have complex communication needs (CCN) to tell their stories of their lived experiences regarding something deep and meaningful. I chose it to be developing romantic and sexual relationships. Using Phenomenology, in particular Critical Hermeneutics Phenomenology, enable me to investigate these lived experiences. Furthermore, as a person who has also CCN it makes me, as researcher, an insider with my own lived experiences too. I have been thinking about how much of my story do I bring in, so I have been reading up a type of research where the person doing the research uses their own experience to assist interpret the data from the participants.
So, after an afternoon of reading about analytic autoethnography, tonight I thought I would want an entertaining movie to relax. There’s been a movie on Stan which keeps appearing in the listing that I have been putting off seeing but today I chose to watch it, called Stories We Tell (2013). Through interviewing her family and close friends of her mother’s Sarah Polley reveals some family secrets and lies, plus how she discovered that her biological father. It is documentary style movie and kind of slow during the first half. It ties in well with my journey with phenomenology and autoethnography. Polley, apart from her story, she also nicely explores the ideas of truth in narratives, as well as, who owns the stories to be told and vulnerability involved by all parties.
Tonight wasn’t the relaxing evening I was hoping yet has given me a lot more to ponder.

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