Distant Voices, Still Lives

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Dir. Terence Davies

UK 1988 | Colour | 84 mins | Cert 15

Cast: Freda Dowie, Pete Postlethwaite, Angela Walsh, Dean Williams, Lorraine Ashbourne

Set in a world before Elvis, a Liverpool before the Beatles, Distant Voices, Still Lives is a remarkable evocation of working-class family life in the 40s and 50s — a visionary exploration of memory. In a powerful succession of searing vignettes, Davies paints an autobiographical picture of a family dominated by an oppressive patriarch. The women in the family achieve partial escape from his dominance through the popular songs of the period that punctuate the narrative, provoking the idea of ‘a kind of musical’. Today, almost twenty years after its first release, Terence Davies’ poetic masterpiece has acquired the status of a British classic.  This restoration from the BFI National Archive will enable a whole new audience to experience its visual beauty, life-affirming humour and extraordinary emotional power.

Available on: DCP, DVD, 35mm

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