Not Drowning

STEVIE Directed by Robert Enders Screenplay by Hugh Whitemore

Stevie Smith was an English poet who dwelt almost all her 69 spinster years (1902-71) in a grubby suburb of London.

She spoke fondly of death as "a servant" who comes when called, but she flubbed a suicide attempt. Her one beloved companion, an aunt, thought her writings were bosh. In her best-known poem she wrote:

"I was further out than you thought/ And not waving but drowning." A movie about Stevie Smith seems unlikely, but this one is strangely appealing.

Stevie awkwardly mingles cinematic language (flashbacks in sepia) and theatrical style (asides spoken...

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