Martin is a fisherman without a boat, his brother Steven having re-purposed it as a tourist tripper. With their childhood home now a get-away for London money, Martin is displaced to the estate above the harbour.
Based on real events, A HIDDEN LIFE is the story of an unsung hero, Bl. 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 keeps his spirit alive.Written by
Speaking at Washington D.C.'s Air and Space Museum in April 2017, Terrence Malick teased "A Hidden Life" would mark a return to a more narrative-driven storytelling structure after the looseness of "Song to Song" and "Knight of Cups." See more »
Closing Title Card:
...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. -George Eliot
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The title card at the end of the picture comes from the final sentence of George Eliot's "Middlemarch". See more »
Nearly half a century lies between this film and the only previous Terrence Malick I'd seen, BADLANDS, which I admire very much and have watched a number of times. As might be expected, he's a very different film maker now. I found A HIDDEN LIFE something of a puzzle. It is undoubtedly beautiful to watch, even as its subject matter gets progressively grimmer. Its religiosity was something of a challenge to me, as was its stilted dialogue. Its story is the familiar one of a man suffering for what he believes. It is the story of John Procter, the hero of Arthur Miller's play THE CRUCIBLE; it is the story of Ibsen's Dr Stockmann, in the play ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE. And of course it's the story of Jesus Christ. There is a tragic grandeur to all of these, and, whatever my reservations about it, there is tragic grandeur to A HIDDEN LIFE. My husband found it unbearably pretentious. I can see why. But I admire the way that this film isn't like anyone else's, that Malick has, in the course of the last half-century, found a way of working that delivers something unique. It certainly won't be to everyone's taste, and aspects of it test one's patience. All the same, I was glad to have seen it, not least for the cinematography and the performances, and the retelling of a story that we all still need to hear in these troubled times.
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