A Quiet Passion

Who was Emily Dickinson? What kind of a person lurked behind the poet who spent most of her life on her parents' estate in Amherst, Massachusetts? This mansion provides the setting for a film that portrays an unconventional woman about whose life very little is known. Born in 1803, Dickinson is considered to be a gifted child, but an emotional trauma forces her to give up her studies. The introverted young woman withdraws from society and writes poetry. In spite of her cloistered existence she takes her readers on a journey into the wider world.
Terence Davies imagines her biography and explores how Emily Dickinson’s exceptional poems could come into being. The camera glides delicately into a life in which poetry takes up more and more space. Emily Dickinson communicates with the outside world via letters. In her correspondence with her siblings and the clergyman Charles Wadsworth she exchanges philosophical and everyday observations. To her, Wadsworth’s move to San Francisco is a tragedy. Davies’ biopic also describes a talented woman’s lonely and desperate struggle for recognition in a world dominated by men.
by Terence Davies
with Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle, Keith Carradine, Emma Bell
United Kingdom / Belgium 2015 125’

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Double Dutch International

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