a true story behind Terrence Malik’s masterpiece

a true story behind Terrence Maliks masterpiece

A HIDDEN LIFE – Terrence Malik questions heroism, doubt and faith in this film inspired by a true story.

A Hidden Life left without a major prize from the 2019 Cannes Film Festival but was acclaimed by the public present on the Croisette. Inspired by a true story, the film Terrence Malick looks at the life of Franz Jäggerstätter, an Austrian peasant who distinguished himself by refusing to swear allegiance to Hitler, while the Second World War was raging in Europe. The American director decided to rehabilitate the story and the courage of this man, victim of Nazism. Faced with this moving story, the filmmaker questions faith, doubt and heroism.

Synopsis – Franz Jäggerstätter lives with his wife and children in a small village in Tyrol. He tries to lead a peaceful and honest life. When Nazi Germany annexed Austria, he was sent to study and returned some time later, not hesitating to express his disagreement with the Nazis. This earned him the rejection of some of the surrounding residents. But Franz doesn’t give up. He doesn’t want to kill for his country. When war breaks out, he is incorporated. But as he refused to swear loyalty to Adolf Hitler, he was imprisoned. Even if she does not always understand his stubbornness, Franziska, his wife, is determined to support him at all costs.

French critics have thus given a most favorable reception to A Hidden Life, released in theaters on Wednesday December 11, 2019. “Intense and captivating” for Elle, “a moving work” for Le Parisien, it is the depth of intrigue and the beauty of this film which seduced the media. “Terrence Malick touches the sublime with this instant masterpiece, which is overwhelming with its evocative power and the scale of its staging,” notes the JDD, conquered. Terrence Malick’s films are renowned for being very lyrical and sometimes have difficulty finding support from the general public.

If the director retains his very recognizable touch (symbolic, spiritual and full of metaphysical reflections), A Hidden Life remains his most accessible film according to film critics: “Terrence Malick returns to his pantheistic lyricism and signs a film of overwhelming beauty about faith and doubt”, enthuses the specialist media Première. Those who have not (yet) been convinced by the filmography of this definitively unique filmmaker can perhaps be tempted by this latest work.

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A Hidden Life tells a terrible and little-known true story. Terrence Malick’s film follows the fate of Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer considered today to be a conscientious objector. After the invasion of Austria in 1938 by Hitler’s army, he was the only one in his village to vote against this annexation (the Anschluss), despite the terror that the Nazis imposed at the time. He repeatedly expressed his opposition to the Nazi regime, until refusing to fight for the Third Reich in 1943.

He will then be imprisoned in Berlin and sentenced to death. On August 9, 1943, he was executed by beheading in Brandenburg Prison. Nearly 65 years later, in 2007, Pope Benedict XVI asked that Franz Jägerstätter be considered a martyr of the Catholic Church. He has been beatified and venerated as a blessed and martyr ever since.