Austrian peasant farmer Franz Jägerstätter lives in the small village of St. Radegund, with his wife and their three daughters. When war breaks out, Jägerstätter and 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, he finds strength in his wife’s love and support. 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.
“A Hidden Life is a lucid and profoundly defiant portrait of faith in crisis. It’s an intimate epic about the immense strength required for resistance, and the courage that it takes for one to hold fast to their virtue during a crisis of faith, and in a world that may never reward them for it. It is, without question, the best thing that Malick has made since The Tree of Life.” (Justin Chang, The Los Angeles Times)
Born in 1943 in Ottawa (Illinois, USA), Malick graduated in philosophy from Harvard. He initially worked for Newsweek, Life and The New Yorker and taught philosophy before attending the American Film Institute. With his first films, Badlands, Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line, Malick has asserted himself as one of the preeminent American filmmakers.