Lies My Father Told Me is a 1975 Canadian film made in Montreal, Quebec. It was directed by Ján Kadár and stars Jeffrey Lynas as an orthodox Jewish boy growing up in 1920s Montreal. The film received the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film in 1975.
The original story was written by Ted Allan in 1949. Allan, a Jew from East End Montreal, was working at an advertising agency. David Rome, editor of the Canadian Jewish Congress Bulletin, asked him to write a story immediately. Allen formulated a short story which has been described as a dramatization of his own childhood memories. Allen comes from a Jewish family who lived in the Mile End, a part of the "Montreal Melting Pot" neighbourhood. Lies My Father Told Me has been through many reincarnations since Allen's conception, it has evolved into a radio play and eventually a Golden-Globe winning film. The original short story was eventually picked up by producer Harry Gulkin, who has been described as a "fixture of Montreal's film community". Harry Gulkin candidly expressed to the Montreal Gazette, "I really didn't know what I was doing, but then nobody knew I didn't know what I was doing". The film has become universally celebrated for its message that relationships can deeply transcend generations through the connection between its two main characters. Marilyn Lightstone, who portrays the film's leading character, also comments on the film's ability to engage with a mass audience. Lightstone told the Montreal Gazette in 2011 that she is unsurprised that lies still widely resonates with viewers nearly 45 years after its debut. Lightstone states, "it is essentially a family story with the most primal set of conflicts you can come upon. It's why Oedipus and Hamlet still resonate. It's a universal theme".