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Distant Voices, Still Lives

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United Kingdom, West Germany · 1988
Rated PG-13 · 1h 24m
Director Terence Davies
Starring Freda Dowie, Pete Postlethwaite, Angela Walsh, Lorraine Ashbourne
Genre Drama, Music

A view of a working-class family in Liverpool during the 40s and 50s based on director Terrence Davies own childhood experiences. The first part (Distant Voices) deals with the elder children of a family trying to live with their abusive father. The second part (Still Lives) finds the children 2 years older and settled in life, but intensely unhappy.

Stream Distant Voices, Still Lives

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What are critics saying?


The New York Times by

One of those dimly realized personal statements that ultimately says a lot less than the written program notes that accompany it.


The Guardian by Andrew Pulver

Few British film-makers have dared to attempt such a thoroughly poetic treatment of their native land, and Terence Davies is the only one to have succeeded so spectacularly.


Time Out London by Dave Calhoun

It’s a heartbreaking work. Its cast are phenomenal; its songs flow through the film like blood; and Davies is unflinching in his hunt for truth and full of nothing but love and understanding for his characters. A masterpiece.


Empire by David Parkinson

Exposing the bleak reality of a supposedly more innocent time, this inspired blend of musical and melodrama succeeds in being both fond and forlorn, artistic and authentic.


Rolling Stone by Peter Travers

When a forty-four-year-old man makes a movie about his family and friends sitting around singing old tunes, you certainly don't expect an unforgettable amalgam of humor and heartbreak. But that is precisely what Terence Davies delivers.


The New Yorker by Richard Brody

With an unfailing eye for place, décor, costume, and gesture, the director glides his camera through tangles of memories to evoke joys and horrors with a similar sense of wonder.

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