The Filmmakers

Sarah Polley talks art, activism and 'Alias Grace' in our exclusive new interview

Watch — and learn — with this extended cut of Polley's chat with CBC Arts' new talk show The Filmmakers.

Watch this extended cut of Polley's chat with CBC Arts' new talk show The Filmmakers

Sarah Polley speaks up: "It's not the time to be polite."

CBC Arts

3 years agoVideo
21:09
An extended cut of Polley's awe-inspiring interview on The Filmmakers. 21:09

Sarah Polley doesn't often open up on camera, but when she does...you best listen up. The writer, actress, filmmaker and activist has proven herself wise beyond her years seemingly since she was able to speak, as evidenced in this collection of rare clips from the past three decades.

In 1995, for example, a teenaged Polley sat down with the CBC and already had the perspective to say the following: "I think probably around 11 or 12, there was sort of a real push from — I'm not sure if it was, you know, adults or society or what, but a real push to sort of lose the passion that I think is considered childlike. I feel that enthusiasm and excitement about life, that's considered, I think, by many people who may not even realize it, as something sort of very childish."

Polley still hasn't seemed to lose that passion, which was evident in a brand new interview she gave on this past weekend's episode of The Filmmakers. And now we have an extended version of that sit-down — one that, in all likelihood, will make you somehow fall even more in love with her than you already were.

Polley spoke of everything from finally finishing her adaptation of Alias Grace ("Now that it's done, the world feels wide open") to what she thinks of television right now ("It just feels like it's an endless amount of stuff to catch up on") to Twitter ("I feel like for better or worse my main source of news now"). But she also had some strong words for what she called "such a confusing time" for the world.

If you have political things to say or to make, this isn't the time to hold back. It's not the time to be polite. It's not the time to make the thing that's best for your career.- Sarah Polley

"These aren't frivolous times," she says. "If you have political things to say or to make, this isn't the time to hold back. It's not the time to be polite. It's not the time to make the thing that's best for your career." 

You can watch the entire interview above, and we encourage you to take notes. We can only imagine the world would be a much better place if we all just listened to Sarah Polley.

Tune in to The Filmmakers every Saturday at 8:30pm (9pm NT) on CBC Television, followed by the presentation of that week's feature film. Or stream both online at cbc.ca/watch.

About the Author

Peter Knegt (he/him) has worked for CBC Arts since 2016, writing the LGBTQ-culture column Queeries (winner of the 2019 Digital Publishing Award for best digital column in Canada) and spearheading the launch and production of series Canada's a Drag and interactive project Superqueeroes, both of which won him 2020 Canadian Screen Awards. Beyond CBC, Knegt is also the filmmaker of numerous short films and the author of the book About Canada: Queer Rights. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter with the same obvious handle: @peterknegt.

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