A Hidden Life (2019 film)

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A Hidden Life
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTerrence Malick
Produced by
  • Elizabeth Bentley
  • Dario Bergesio
  • Grant Hill
  • Josh Jeter
Written byTerrence Malick
Music byJames Newton Howard[1][2]
CinematographyJörg Widmer
Edited by
  • Rehman Nizar Ali
  • Joe Gleason
  • Sebastian Jones
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release date
  • May 19, 2019 (2019-05-19) (Cannes)[4]
  • December 13, 2019 (2019-12-13) (United States)
Running time
173 minutes[5]
  • United States
  • Germany
Budget$7–9 million[6]

A Hidden Life (formerly titled Radegund) is a 2019 historical drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick, starring August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, with both Michael Nyqvist and Bruno Ganz in their final performances. The film depicts the life of Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer and devout Catholic who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2019 and will be theatrically released in the United States on December 13, 2019.[7]


Austrian conscientious objector Franz Jägerstätter is imprisoned after refusing to fight for the Third Reich in World War II.




On June 23, 2016, reports emerged that A Hidden Life (initially titled Radegund) would depict the life of Austria’s Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector during World War II who was put to death at the age of 36 for undermining military actions, and was later declared a martyr and beatified by the Catholic Church. It was announced that August Diehl was set to play Jägerstätter and Valerie Pachner to play his wife, Franziska Jägerstätter.[8]


Malick said A Hidden Life will have a more structured narrative than his previous works: "Lately – I keep insisting, only very lately – have I been working without a script and I've lately repented the idea. The last picture we shot, and we're now cutting, went back to a script that was very well ordered."[9]


The church of St. Valentin in Seis am Schlern
The Fane Alm in Mühlbach

The film began production in Studio Babelsberg in Potsdam, Germany in summer 2016. From 11 July through 19 August 2016 the production shot on location in South Tyrol. Locations there were the church of St. Valentin in Seis am Schlern, the valley of Gsies, the village of Rodeneck, the mills in Terenten, the meadows of Albions in Lajen, the Seiser Alm, the Taufers Castle, the Fane Alm in Mühlbach, the Puez-Geisler Nature Park, the renaissance Velthurns Castle in the village of Feldthurns, the Franzensfeste Fortress, the gardens of the bishop's Hofburg in Brixen and the Neustift cloister.[10][8]

In August 2016 reports emerged that some of the film's scenes were shot in the small Italian mountain village of Sappada.[11]


Actor Franz Rogowski said in a March 2019 interview that no one knew how the film would turn out or when it would be released, considering that it had been in post-production for more than two years at that point. Rogowski added that Malick is "a director who creates spaces rather than produces scenes; his editing style is like that."[12]


A Hidden Life premiered in competition at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival on May 19, 2019.[13] The following day, the film was acquired by Fox Searchlight Pictures for $12–14 million.[14][6] It is scheduled to be released in the United States on December 13, 2019.[15]


On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 74% based on 42 reviews, with an average rating of 7.48/10. The site's 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."[16] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 76 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[17]

Peter DeBruge of Variety writes: "Whether or not he 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."[18]

Jägerstätter biographer Erna Putz was touched by the spirituality of the film after a private screening in June 2019, stating that Malick has made an "independent and universal [w]ork". She also considered Diehl and Pachner's performances to be accurate to who Franz and Franziska were ("Franz, as I know him from the letters, and Franziska, as I know from encounters.").[19]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Cannes Film Festival 25 May 2019 François Chalais Prize Terrence Malick Won [20]
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury Won [21]
Palme d'Or Nominated [13]


  1. ^ "UNE VIE CACHÉE". Orange Studio. Orange Studio. Retrieved 18 April 2019. bande originale : James Newton Howard
  2. ^ "One Big Soul, The Terrence Malick Community". Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  3. ^ McCarthy, Todd (May 19, 2019). "'A Hidden Life': Film Review | Cannes 2019". The Hollywood Reporter. Valence Media. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  4. ^ "The Screenings Guide 2019". May 9, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  5. ^ "Official Selection". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  6. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 23, 2019). "The Epic Three-Year Journey Of Terrence Malick's 'A Hidden Life': Can Disney-Fox Searchlight Improve Auteur's B.O. Track Record? – Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  7. ^ "Cannes festival 2019: full list of films". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Terrence Malick Announces Next Film 'Radegund,' Based on the Life of Franz Jägerstätter". The Film Stage. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  9. ^ Sharf, Zack (6 April 2017). "Terrence Malick Vows to Return to More Structured Filmmaking: 'I'm Backing Away From That Style Now'". IndieWire. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  10. ^ "La IDM FF & Commission a Cannes con Malick". Cinecittà News. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Trailer For 'The Thin Red Line' Restoration Arrives as Terrence Malick Commences 'Radegund' Shoot". The Film Stage. 11 August 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  12. ^ Elfadl, Murtada (9 March 2019). "Franz Rogowski on Playing a Ghost in 'Transit,' Disorienting the Audience, and Terrence Malick's 'Radegund'". The Film Stage. The Film Stage. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  13. ^ a b Tartaglione, Nancy; Wiseman, Andreas (April 18, 2019). "Cannes Film Festival 2019 Lineup: Malick, Almodovar, Dardennes; Four Women Directors In Competition – Full List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  14. ^ Keslassy, Elsa; Lang, Brent (May 20, 2019). "Cannes: Fox Searchlight Nabs Terrence Malick's 'A Hidden Life'". Variety. Variety Media, LLC. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  15. ^ D’Alessandro, Anthony (June 27, 2019). "Terrence Malick's 'A Hidden Life' Lands Year-End Awards Season Release". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  16. ^ "A Hidden Life (Une vie cachée) (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  17. ^ "A Hidden Life Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  18. ^ DeBruge, Peter (May 19, 2019). "Cannes Film Review: 'A Hidden Life'". Variety. Variety Media, LLC. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  19. ^ "Berührende private Vorführung des Jägerstätter-Films „A Hidden Life" in St. Radegund". Katholische Kirche in Oberösterreich (in German). Diözese Linz Kommunikationsbüro. June 4, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2019. „Beide Hauptpersonen sind sehr gut getroffen – Franz, wie ich ihn aus den Briefen kenne, und Franziska, wie ich sie aus Begegnungen kenne".... habe Malick ein „eigenständiges und allgemeingültiges Werk“ erschaffen
  20. ^ "72nd Annual Cannes Film Festival Held In Cannes, France From 14 To 25 May 2019". May 29, 2019. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  21. ^ Oubrayrie, Edward. "Le Prix du Jury œcuménique 2019 décerné à 'A Hidden Life'". Jury oecumenique au Festival de Cannes. Retrieved 7 June 2019.

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