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You are in: Home > 2021. 69th Edition  > Festival Diary > An obsession with time and memory
Festival Diary » Official Selection
An obsession with time and memory
Sunday, September 19th, 2021

Terence Davies has continued with his own personal exploration of time and memory in his latest film Benediction about the tormented life of the war poet Siegfried Sassoon, which was screened yesterday in the Official Selection.

The director confessed that he had always been obsessed with the nature of time, memory and reflecting on how we see the world and how the world sees us, “for me time is an emotional thing”, and that one of the biggest problems he had faced when addressing a life as rich as Sassoon’s was deciding what to leave out: “he knew everyone and did so much”. This meant that he had finally decided to focus on the aspects of his life that could be dramatized such as his marriage to cover up his homosexuality, his conversion to Catholicism and his poetry inspired by his experiences at the front. Asked about what working with Terence Davies had been like, the actor Jack Lowden, who plays Sassoon as a young man, described it as having been one of the most exceptional experiences he had ever had and stressed how it had been a great honour to play someone as brave and honest as Sassoon. He also explained how important it was to make films that remind us of how disastrous the First World War really was to counteract the sentimentality that often surrounds visions of the conflict.


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