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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

'A Hidden Life': A Thoroughly Impassioned Depiction of One Man's Resistance Against the Nazis

Movie poster for the film A Hidden Life starring August Diehl

“A Hidden Life” is an altogether resounding true story starring August Diehl as Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer who adamantly refused to serve Nazi Germany during World War II, and faced imprisonment as well as the threat of execution for his act of willful disobedience.

A lifelong resident of the rural mountain village of St. Radegund, Franz is seen via flashback as he first encounters and courts young Fani (Valerie Pachner) before they ultimately marry and raise three daughters in their idyllic community. When full-scale warfare erupts against Soviet forces and Franz is called to active duty, however, he staunchly refuses to pledge allegiance to Hitler and is imprisoned indefinitely for his defiance. His resilience and spiritual fortitude are gravely challenged as he struggles in incarceration to reconcile his allegiance to God's commandments with the very real possibility that he may never see his family again.

Written and directed by Terrence Malick ("Badlands", “The Thin Red Line”), “A Hidden Life” is a monumental and thoroughly impassioned tale of of resistance, determination and hardship. Sweeping and majestic with his camera, Malick brings a simple, unexceptional man’s life to the screen with enormous exuberance—aided immeasurably by James Newton Howard’s utterly transcendent musical composition. A galvanizing and heartbreaking affair that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.


View the trailer:


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