A Hidden Life (VIFF)

Date(s) - September 29, 2019
8:45 pm - 11:30 pm

The Centre

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Described by critics as a return to the narratively driven style of cinematic milestones like The Thin Red Line and Days of Heaven, the new masterpiece by visionary filmmaker Terrence Malick tells the powerful and transcendent true story of Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl), an Austrian farmer, devout Catholic, and conscripted soldier who, famously, refused to fight for the Nazis during WWII and bore the terrifying consequences of this moral fortitude. It is his unwavering faith and his love for his wife Fani (Valerie Pachner) and children that keep his spiritual beliefs intact.

In the remote village of Radegund, Franz leads an Edenic existence with Fani and their three children, seemingly unaware of the fact that the Nazis are on the rise. When Franz refuses to fight for the Third Reich, his tight-knit community turns against him and his family. But he remains resolute in his convictions: he will not fight, and will certainly not pledge allegiance to Hitler. Hailed as Malick’s best film since 2011’s The Tree of Life, this will not only rank among the director’s most poetic works but also, perhaps unsurprisingly, be considered one of his most politically prescient as well.

The Tree of Life spanned eons to capture the entirety of existence, and while the filmmaker works on a tighter four-year canvas this time around, the feeling that the stakes are nothing less than the soul of all humanity has persisted. This is art of salvation.” – Charles Bramesco, The Playlist

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