Distant Voices, Still Lives

Distant Voices, Still Lives ★★★★

Original Title: Distant Voices, Still Lives
Year of Release: 1988
Genres: Historical Drama
Director: Terence Davies
Writer: Terence Davies
Main Cast: Pete Postlethwaite, Freda Dowie, Lorraine Ashbourne, Angela Walsh, Dean Williams, Jean Boht, Michael Starke, Andrew Schofield, Debi Jones

Distant Voices, Still Lives is very much a film of two halves, a nostalgic film that looks back at the past without forgetting both the good and the bad. It is a film that comes from a clearly personal place, that of writer-director Terence Davies' childhood.

It is a film about family, about the hardships of growing up in a post-WWII household, with an abusive father whose behavior is condemend yet socially accepted. What fascinated me the most of this slow-paced drama is how it is a stealth musical of sorts, the characters often breaking into songs as a way to express themselves without opening themselves too much. There are 20 or so songs in here, each bringing beauty and peace in the darkest of times of these characters' lives.

While not always engaging for my tastes with non-linear editing that was slightly confusing at first, Distant Voices, Still Lives is absolutely a film you should check out for yourself. It is one of the most personal and intimate dramas I have seen, told in an unconventional way and feeling as cathartic as films can be.

Story: 7.5
Directing: 8.5
Cinematography: 8.5
Acting: 9
Sound: 9
Visual Effects: 9


Violence & Gore: 4
Sex & Nudity: 2
Drugs & Profanity: 3
Intensity & Horror: 3

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