A Quiet Passion

Synopsis: The story of American poet Emily Dickinson from her early days as a young schoolgirl to her later years as a reclusive, unrecognized artist.
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director(s): Terence Davies
Production: Hurricane Films
  3 wins & 22 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
125 min


You have now come

to the end of your second semester.

Some of you will remain here

to complete your education.

Some of you will go out into the world.

And, as is my custom,

I put to you a question

of the utmost importance,

which concerns your spiritual wellbeing.

Do you wish to come to God

and be saved?

Those of you who wish to be Christian

and saved will move to my right.

To those of you who remain

and hope to be saved...

you will move to my left.

Have you said your prayers?


Though it can't make much

difference to the Creator.

Do I understand you correctly?

Do you believe that your Creator is

indifferent to your sins?

That, in His mercy,

He sees you slumber?

No, you misunderstand me.

I've not got so far.

I am not even awakened yet.

And how should I repent?

I am somewhat troubled, to be sure,

but my feelings are all indefinite.

The question is not

how far you have advanced,

but how far you ought to have advanced.

Not how you feel,

but how you ought to feel.

I don't feel anything.

I have no sense of my sins.

And how can I?

I wish I could feel as others do,

but it is not possible.

A sinner against a Holy God

and under condemnation,

and liable every moment to drop

into a burning hopeless eternity,

yet cannot feel, cannot be alarmed,

cannot "flee from the wrath to come".

And the true question is...

Are you in the Ark of Safety?

I fear I am not.

You are alone in your rebellion,

Miss Dickinson.

I fear that you are a no-hoper.

Yes, Miss Lyon.

For each ecstatic instant

We must an anguish pay

In keen and quivering ratio

To the ecstasy.

For each beloved hour

Sharp pittances of years,

Bitter contested farthings

And coffers heaped with tears.

Father. Austin. Vinnie!

My happiness would be complete,

if only Mother were with you.

The journey would have been

too fatiguing for her.

We have come to take you home, Emily.

- We were concerned by your last letter.

- You spoke of being ill.

Yes. What is it that

you are suffering from?

- An acute case of evangelism.

- Am I really to go home?

- Yes.

We will go to Amherst, via Boston,

and stay for a short while

with Aunt Elizabeth.

I fear you don't approve, Father?

I do not like to see a woman

upon the stage.

But she has a gift.

A gift is no excuse for a female

to exhibit herself in that way.

And what would you have her do?

Perform an act of congress aloud?

That would depend

upon what key it was in.

Well, the rest of her programme

is in respectable German.

And the Germans

are wonderful in music.

That's true.

English, thank heaven,

is not a language that can be sung.

But, Aunt Elizabeth,

you love your hymn tunes.

Hymns are different. They have

absolutely nothing to do with music.

Ah, the devil in music.

Don't be trite, Emily.

Oh, life!

Oh, home!

How wonderful you are!


Why are you up so late?

- May I speak with you, Father?

- Of course.

As you may know, I like to write.

Letters, mostly... but sometimes poetry.


May I have your permission to write

during the night, for quiet's sake?

I shall not disrupt

the rest of the household, I promise.

Yes, you may.

It was very considerate of you to ask.

It is your house, Father.

But it is our home, Emily.

I... I have one more favour

to ask of you, Father.

What is it?

You are, I believe, on cordial terms

with Dr Holland,

the editor of the Springfield Republican.

And the Springfield Republican

publishes poetry.

I'll write to him.

And if he agrees,

you may send him some of your work.

"Dear Miss Dickinson,

"I have decided to publish

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Terence Davies

Terence Davies (born 10 November 1945) is an English screenwriter, film director, novelist and actor. He is best known as the writer and director of Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) and The Long Day Closes (1992) as well the collage film Of Time and the City (2008). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "A Quiet Passion" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 25 Oct. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/a_quiet_passion_2003>.

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