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Sunset Song

Directed by Terence Davies

UK, 2015

HOME, 4 December 2015

Sunset Song

The world and what it does to men; men and what they do to women: that is the source of discord in Terence Davies’s paradise.

And it is a paradise, despite the discordant presence of humanity. Verdant Scotland, the land fertile and the light always golden, in this film at least.

Agyness Deyn plays the suffering beauty – and she does it well. She is Chris, a young woman who grows up on the family farm and has hopes of becoming a teacher, but her life takes a different course. Shit happens, from close at hand and far away, to scupper her dreams. From birth, a bullying father who gradually erodes her resolve. Then a hectoring priest, an establishment drone and warmonger; not to mention a protean (soppy/stern) husband. Oh, and then there’s World War One.

This is a superbly crafted, hence memorable film. What I love most about it is its immediacy. When each scene begins, we are in it already – there is no distance. That’s the essence of Davies’s unique art. You realise that the consciousness of each moment is a privilege.

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