A Hidden Life  Cannes – Synopsis and Trailer
Ingenious writer-director Terrence Malick needs no introduction. Widely popular among masses for his slow-burner, transcendental ‘The Tree of Life’, Terrence Malick’s movies explore the themes of a relationship of an individual within the society and with nature, intrapersonal and interpersonal conflicts, and profound introspection of life.
His movies employee broad philosophical and spiritual overtones with the narrative that is meditative and melancholic. Although, many critics cinephiles criticize his movies for overindulgence, pretentious and gratuitous.
He is the writer and director of Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, The New World, The Tree of Life, To the Wonder, Knight of Cups, Song to Song and Voyage of Time.
Terrence Malick’s latest film ‘A Hidden Life’ will premiere at the Cannes in ‘In Competition – Feature Films’ which is based on real events. The title card at the end of the picture comes from the final sentence of George Eliot’s Middlemarch.
August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Maria Simon, Tobias Moretti, Bruno Ganz, Matthias Schoenaerts, Karin Neuhäuser, Ulrich Matthes.
Based on real events, A HIDDEN LIFE is the story of an unsung hero, Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. When the Austrian peasant farmer is faced with the threat of execution for treason, it is his unwavering faith and his love for his wife Fani and children that keep his spirit alive.
A Hidden Life follows the real-life story of Austrian peasant farmer Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl) who refuses to fight for the Nazis in World War II. Born and bred in the small village of St. Radegund, Jägerstätter is working his land when war breaks out.
Married to Franziska (Fani) (Valerie Pachner), the couple are important members of the tight-knit rural community. They live a simple life with the passing years marked by the arrival of the couple’s three girls. Franz is called up to basic training and is away from his beloved wife and children for months. Eventually, when France surrenders and it seems the war might end soon, he is sent back from training. With his mother and sister-in-law Resi, he and his wife farm the land and raise their children amid the mountains and valleys of upper Austria.
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As the war goes on, Jägerstätter and the other able-bodied men in the village are called up to fight. Their first requirement is to swear an oath of allegiance to Adolf Hitler and the 3rd Reich. Despite the pleas of his neighbours, Jägerstätter refuses. Wrestling with the knowledge that his decision will mean arrest and even death, Jägerstätter finds strength in Fani’s love and support. Jägerstätter is taken to prison, first in Enns, then in Berlin and waits months for his trial.
During his time in prison, he and Fani write letters to one another and give each other strength. Fani and their daughters are victims of growing hostility in the village over her husband’s decision not to fight. After months of brutal incarceration, his case goes to trial. He is found guilty and sentenced to death. Despite many opportunities to sign the oath of allegiance, Jägerstätter continues to stand up for his beliefs and is executed by the Third Reich in August 1943, while his wife and three daughters survive.
Trailer is not officially launched yet. The below clip from the film is Festival De Cannes copyrighted material.