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Why did Sarah Polley finally tell the story of a family secret she kept for six years?
In her first interview for "Stories We Tell," Polley's documentary about being born from an affair, the 33-year-old Canadian filmmaker reveals why she decided to shine the spotlight on such a private matter.
"I realized I've gone to all this trouble and people are going to read the story before they see the film anyway. But I made the film to have agency in how the story was going to be told," she told Maclean's writer Brian D. Johnson, one of the journalists who kept her secret, according to her wishes, when it leaked in 2007.
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After getting a DNA test in 2006, Polley discovered that she was the daughter of actress Diane Polley and a Montreal film producer, Harry Gulkin -- not Toronto actor Michael Polley, who was married to her mother at the time.
"I had a fever for two-and-a-half weeks after I read that result," she said. "It was so strange, to have to completely reimagine where you biologically come from."
The Toronto filmmaker did not tell her father the truth until a year later.
"He received it all with so much equanimity it was unreal," Polley said. "He immediately saw that problems in their marriage led this to happen. He says, 'I encouraged her anytime she felt I was inadequate to have an affair, as long as she didn't leave me.'"
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Polley's biological dad, Gulkin, had became "utterly besotted" with Diane when she was starring in the play "Oh Toronto" in Montreal. According to "Stories We Tell," both Gulkin and Michael Polley fought to get custody of Sarah.
"Stories We Tell" hits Canadian cinemas Oct. 12. It is set for U.S. release in early 2013.