“We’ve thought about the war, heard it rendered in poetry and caught glimpses of its brutality. And then, through the filter of Sassoon’s tormented memory, we feel it.” – The New York Times
“[Davies] turns Sassoon’s story into a virtual opera.” – The New Yorker
“A mournful tribute to the wounded and fallen, suffused with a particular compassion for those survivors who, like Sassoon, never shook off the trauma of what they experienced.” – Los Angeles Times
The real-life story of WWI combat veteran Siegfried Sassoon — a poet who changed the course of British literature – directed by Terence Davies.
94% on Rotten Tomatoes.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Mirror
From Sassoon’s “Suicide in the Trenches” (1918):
You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.
Written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Terence Davies, Benediction explores the turbulent life of WWI poet Siegfried Sassoon (Jack Lowden). The writer and soldier was a complex man who survived the horrors of fighting in the First World War and was decorated for his bravery but who became a vocal critic of the government’s continuation of the war when he returned from service. His poetry was inspired by his experiences on the Western Front, and he became one of the leading war poets of the era. Adored by members of the aristocracy as well as stars of London’s literary and stage world, he embarked on affairs with several men as he attempted to come to terms with his homosexuality. At the same time, broken by the horror of war, he made his life’s journey a quest for salvation, trying to find it within the conformity of marriage and religion.