Tuomas’s review published on Letterboxd:
Distant Voice, Still Lives speaks to the desire to overlook abuse in favor of favorable impressions like nothing else. You still want to remember the good about your father even though he beat you for no good reason (as if there was one to begin with), you want to hold on to the happy because it's so hardwired into your brain that he's family and you love your family no matter what. There's this perverse sense of blind loyalty to something as arbitrary as blood relations. It doesn't mean anything. Anyone can be evil and them being your blood doesn't change it nor make it any less worse than it is. This being a time capsule of the 1950s, it'd be easy to think we as a society have progressed passed something like this, but the theme still strikes a cord for a reason. On average, abuse might not be as strong as it is in here, but similarly domineering parenting still happens all over the place and the same excuse of blood relation is used to guilt trip children into loving their parents unconditionally even though they haven't been treated in a way that the love would actually be deserved. The movie doesn't answer the question of which side wins, reality or nostalgia and it doesn't really need to, it's a fantastic depiction of the fascinating side of humanity which creates this inner conflict in people who are in situations like this.