A Hidden Life
Location: Redstone Theater
Dir. Terrence Malick. 2019, 180 mins. DCP. With August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Matthias Schoenaerts, Franz Rogowski, Michael Nyqvist, Bruno Ganz. Based on real events, A Hidden Life depicts the trials of Austrian martyr and conscientious objector, Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to take the Hitler Oath required of all conscripts to the German Wehrmacht and was tried, sentenced to death, and summarily executed in the summer of 1943. Opening in the idyllic Alpine valleys of the South Tyrol, where Franz, his wife Fani and their three girls tend farm, the film conjures an elevated atmosphere straight out of Caspar David Friedrich before darkening into a claustrophobic nightmare under the cloud of a Völkisch resurgence, the inevitable Anschluss, and the call to war. A telling return to scripted filmmaking if not to the linear storytelling that might suggest, A Hidden Life brings us at once the most spiritually focused and morally urgent testament of Malick’s career.