Ben Oliver


Run Towards the Danger

Confrontations with a Body of Memory
04 May 2024

A collection of six essays by actress and filmmaker Sarah Polley, recounting and examining traumatic experiences.

Polley’s 2012 film Stories We Tell1 was in part a study on how time and emotion can alter memories, and while some of Run Towards the Danger happens in the intervening years, it’s also to some extent an extension of this idea.

What really strikes me however is that this is about suffering in silence, and not being believed - whether it’s accidents on movie sets (Polley starred in the notorious Terry Gilliam film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen), stage fright, sexual assault or never-ending fallout from a concussion.

The title, Run Towards the Danger stems from advice her doctor gave her about recovering from a concussion, the symptoms of which she was still feeling three years after the accident. Instead of shying away from noise, light and pain, he said, you must run towards it and push through. That’s what these essays are - raw and often hard to hear, but you can almost hear the healing in her voice.

Written with an unusual degree of insight and clarity, this is a vital exploration of trauma and memory.

Reply by email