British filmmaker Terence Davies, best known for a pair of powerful, lyrical movies inspired by his childhood in postwar Liverpool, has died at the age of 77.

Davies’ manager John Taylor said the director died “peacefully at home in his sleep” on Saturday after a short illness.

Raised in a large working-class Roman Catholic family in the English port city, Davies worked as a clerk in a shipping office and a bookkeeper in an accountancy firm before enrolling at

a drama school in the city of Coventry and later the National Film School.

After making several short films, Davies made his feature debut as writer-director in 1988 with “Distant Voices, Still Lives,” a dreamlike — sometimes nightmarish — collage of a film that evoked a childhood of poverty and violence leavened by music and movie magic. The film won the Cannes International Critics Prize in 1988, and in 2002 was voted the ninth-best film of the past 25 years by British film critics.
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