Wednesday April 12, 2017

Terence Davies finds the drama in Emily Dickinson's reclusive life in A Quiet Passion

(Courtesy of Nicholas Hunt / Getty Images)

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Emily Dickinson is known for her body of poems, letters and other works written in the 1800s. But when Dickinson was alive, only a handful of her poems made it into the hands of the public because of the private way she lived her life.

Dickinson was a recluse in every sense of the word; she never traveled, never married, and as she grew older she refused to leave her home. On the surface, her life wouldn't seem to lend itself well to a dramatic biopic, but veteran filmmaker Terence Davies welcomed the challenge.

A Quiet Passion is the title of Davies' latest film that draws on crisis in faith, family, and inner turmoil to chronicle the life of Emily Dickinson. Although Dickinson didn't live an overtly exciting life, Davies says he had no problem producing the film as a drama: "Her inner life was immensely rich. She wrote nearly 1,800 poems, she wrote three volumes of letters, she gardened, she played the piano. It doesn't matter if you don't go anywhere, you go on an interior journey which is much more enriching, I think."

— Produced by Ben Edwards