Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)

Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)

Never has song been used so poignantly as in this painful, yet curiously fond recollection of postwar Liverpool from director Terence Davies.

distantvoicesstilllives

Davies draws on family memories and experiences of Liverpool during the 1940s and 50s, and the popular tunes that punctuate the ritualistic round of family gatherings and pub sing-songs jarringly counterpoint the irrational violence meted out by short-fused father Pete Postlethwaite.

Unflinchingly depicting both the beatings and their consequences, Davies brings a bruising realism to the stylised series of vignettes, which adeptly avoid the patronising tone that jaundices so many portraits of working-class life.

He followed this haunting film with the even more remarkable The Long Day Closes.

Mother
Freda Dowie
Father
Pete Postlethwaite
Eileen
Angela Walsh
Tony
Dean Williams
Maisie
Lorraine Ashbourne
Jingles
Marie Jelliman
Eileen as a child
Sally Davies
Tony as a child
Nathan Walsh
Maisie as a child
Susan Flanagan
Dave
Michael Starke
George
Vincent Maguire
Rose
Antonia Mallen
Micki
Debi Jones

Director
Terence Davies