'I'm gay, I live alone and I've been celibate for 30 years," says Terence Davies. "So in a sense, I can't imagine what it's like." The 65-year-old director is talking about women trapped in unfulfilling marriages in the 1950s. And yet, in another sense, he perfectly understands their plight – having witnessed, as a boy in the 1950s, his own mother's brutal marriage.
"My mum had a terrible life because my father was a complete psychopath," he says. "She never once complained. She got on with it. That's what you did. It moves me more than I can say." I can't help thinking of the unbearable scene in his autobiographical 1988 film Distant Voices, Still Lives in which the father bawls "Shut up! Shut up!