Benediction explores the turbulent life of First World War poet, Siegfried Sassoon, through the eyes of the revered filmmaker Terence Davies. Sassoon was a complex man who survived the horrors of fighting in the First World War and was decorated for his bravery but who became a vocal critic of the government’s continuation of the war when he returned from service. His poetry was inspired by his experiences on the Western Front and he became one of the leading war poets of the era. Adored by members of the aristocracy as well as stars of London’s literary and stage world, he embarked on affairs with several men as he attempted to come to terms with his homosexuality. At the same time, broken by the horror of war, he made his life’s journey a quest for salvation, trying to find it within the conformity of marriage and religion. His story is one of a troubled man in a fractured world searching for peace and self-acceptance, something which speaks as meaningfully to the modern world as it did then.
Terence Davies’ filmography is divided between films that speak of his own memories and others that recreate them through great literary references. Born into a humble and very Catholic family, his cinema has become a living portrait of Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, aesthetically sublime and elegantly caustic with the conservative values that saw him grow.
Filmography: Benediction (2021, D’A 2022), Historia de una pasión (2016), Sunset Song (2015, D’A 2016), The Deep Blue Sea (2011, D’A 2012), Of Time and the City (2008), La casa de la alegría (2000), La biblia de neón (1995), El largo día acaba (1992), Voces distantes (1988), The Terence Davies Trilogy (1983)