A Hidden Life (2019)

A Hidden Life (2019)

The lyrical wizardry of Terrence Malick



Germany, Italy
English, German, Italian
Drama, History, War
Alexander Fehling, Alexander Radszun, August Diehl
174 min

What it's about

Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter faces the threat of execution for refusing to fight for the Nazis during World War II.

The take

Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life) is back in full form with this three-hour movie based on a true story. His creation has one of the most beautiful depictions of happiness ever seen in film, portraying the simple yet joyous life of a farmer in the Austrian mountains. You'd have to see it for yourself to understand, but how Malick depicts this character's love for his wife (and her love for him), their children, and even their farming rituals are nothing short of cinematic wizardry. 

This peaceful existence changes when World War 2 intensifies and this farmer is called to serve for the Nazis. He refuses to enroll out of principle and puts himself and his family at great danger and alienation from their village. The question at the center of the film is one that other villagers and the church ask him a lot: what good can his actions do? And the title of the movie is taken from A George Eliot quote: "The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."


This movie is such a beautiful poetic experience. You cannot control but feel each and every character. The tone, background score all adds to its awesomeness. One of a kind war movie where war is hidden from the audience but still we will the impact of war through the lives of these simple farmers.

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