It’s easier to follow the crowd. It’s harder to follow your gut and go against the grain, even if that means putting your freedom and your life at stake.
The new film, A Hidden Life, tells the true story of Franz Jägerstätter. Franz (August Diehl) and his wife, Fani (Valerie Pachner) are farmers. Living in rural Austria during World War II, they have three children. Then Franz is called to serve his country.
But there is a catch. Every man who serves must swear loyalty to the Nazi Fuhrer. Franz’s conscious tells him that he cannot make such a statement. This refusal sends Franz to prison and potentially, to his death.
Written and directed by Terrence Malick, this film is as much a message on respecting your instinct as it is to honor the memory of its subject.
The problem with this movie is that is far too long. It is 180 minutes from opening credits to closing credits. As much as I understood where Mr. Malick was going as a writer and a director, he could have cut it down by an hour and it would have been fine as is.
Though the visuals were stunning and the narrative format was interesting, it cannot overcome more screentime than was necessary.
Do I recommend it? Not really.
A Hidden Life is presently in theaters.