The film will be screened at 5 pm, which will be followed by a lecture by sociologist Hesam Salamat on the topic “Moral Freedom in the Age of Dictatorship”.
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 keeps his spirit alive.
The film stars August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, and Matthias Schoenaerts with Michael Nyqvist in his final performance.
The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2019 and won the François Chalais Prize and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury.
Peter DeBruge of Variety writes, “Whether or not he [Malick] is specifically referring to the present day, its demagogues, and the way certain evangelicals have once again sold out their core values for political advantage, “A Hidden Life” feels stunningly relevant as it thrusts this problem into the light.”
Jägerstätter biographer Erna Putz was touched by the film’s spirituality after a private screening in June 2019, saying that Malick had made an “independent and universal work.”
She also considered Diehl’s and Pachner's performances to be accurate to whom Franz and Franziska were (“Franz, as I know him from the letters, and Franziska, as I know from encounters”).
Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus reads, “Ambitious and visually absorbing, ‘A Hidden Life’ may prove inscrutable to non-devotees—but for viewers on Malick’s wavelength, it should only further confirm his genius.”
On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 78 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating “generally favorable reviews.”