It is with a heavy heart that we report the passing of Terence Davies, the esteemed British director of films such as “Distant Voices, Still Lives,” “The Deep Blue Sea,” and “The Long Day Closes.” Davies, aged 77, died peacefully at his home after a brief illness. The news was confirmed by his official Instagram account on Saturday morning.
Davies was known for infusing his work with personal emotional experiences, often delving into themes of homosexuality and his upbringing as a gay man and Catholic in Liverpool, England, through fictional narratives. However, in his 2008 documentary “Of Time and the City,” the director directly addressed his own childhood.
Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008, “Of Time and the City” is a poignant reflection on Davies’ formative years in the 1950s and 1960s. Utilizing archival footage, Davies’ own commentary voiceover, and classical musical tracks, the documentary received critical acclaim for its artistry and storytelling.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Davies shared the emotional process of creating the film and his struggles to reconcile his faith with his sexuality. He spoke candidly about his return to his parish church during the filmmaking process, confessing, “I once prayed to be forgiven until my knees bled, and I hadn’t done anything. You can’t shake it, the guilt. You are ipso facto a sinner because you have original sin in your soul. It is wrong.”
Terence Davies was a groundbreaking filmmaker who fearlessly explored the complexities of his own life and the human condition. His distinctive voice and visual storytelling will be sorely missed, but his legacy will continue to inspire and educate future generations of filmmakers.
Rest in peace, Terence Davies.