Benediction, 2021, Terence Davies


Director: Terence Davies; With Peter Capaldi, Jack Lowden, Kate Phillips. GB, 2021, 137 min. English
Terence Davies' latest film exhibits the high standards he has maintained throughout his career, focusing on historical periods, this time World War I and its aftermath. Benediction meticulously recreates the complex world of its subject, anti-war poet Siegfried Sassoon (Jack Lowden as a young man, Peter Capaldi later in life). But the film does much more than this. Through its extensive use of wartime found footage, as well as back-projections, unstable diegesis, and other experimental techniques, Davies explores the shattered souls of the men who were sent to execute the Great War. Benediction also represents a new frankness in Davies' depiction of gay desire. Throughout his life, Sassoon meets other men such as himself, who ache for "the love that dare not speak its name." From a kindly military psychologist through a group of creative luminaries including legendary songwriter Ivor Novello, Sassoon discovers that he is not alone, but is forced to the margins of society nonetheless. In Benediction, gay love is simply love itself, with all the attendant joy and heartbreak. And as Davies demonstrates through the frequent use of Sassoon's mournful verse, warmongering and homophobia are simply two faces of the same culture of death. (Michael Sicinski)
With Terence Davies in attendance

Screening dates:

So 24.10.2021 20:30
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No reservations accepted for screenings from October 21 to 31, special ticket regulations apply during the Viennale. Tickets are available exclusively at the Viennale box offices, via telephone at 01/526 594 769 or via