(Formerly "Radegund"

ROLE:  Bishop Joseph Fliessen

GENRE: Historical war


PREMIERED:  Cannes - May 19, 2019



The true story of Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer from the small village of Ragegund. When Nazi Germany annexed Austria in 1938, Jägerstätter reported for military duty but refused to swear the required oath to Adolf Hitler or to fight in what he considered an unjust war. He was imprisoned, sentenced to death and executed in the summer of 1943; his sentence was nullified by a Berlin court in 1997, and he was declared a martyr and beatified by the Roman Catholic Church in 2007.

Program Details


August Diehl - Franz Jägerstätter
Valerie Pachner - Franziska Jägerstätter
Matthias Schoenaerts - Herder
Jürgen Prochnow - Major Schlegel
Bruno Ganz - Judge Lueben
Martin Wuttke - Major Kiel
Michael Nyqvist - Bishop Joseph Fliessen


* * * * *

Director - Terrence Malick
Cinematography - Jörg Widmer
Music - James Newton Howard

* * * * *

173 minutes

Production Notes & Photos

The film was shot in a limited number of contained production locations including Italy’s South Tyrol and the Austrian countryside as well as Studio Babelsburg outside Berlin. Similar to the visual template Emmanuel Lubezki established in Malick’s 2005 film The New World, A Hidden Life cinematographer Jorg Widmer shot in natural light. Pre-production lasted 10 weeks, followed by an eight-week shoot, with the rest of the time in Malick’s post facility in Austin.

Michael with costume designers


David Ehrlich, IndieWire:
"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... Despite its repetitive and foraging nature, A Hidden Life flies by, as the film is helped along by gorgeous scenery, a beautiful score, and a handful of supporting performances from actors like Matthias Schoenaerts and Franz Rogowski. The late Bruno Ganz and Michael Nyqvist respectively make their final appearances as a Nazi judge and an anguished, sympathizing member of the Church."

Paul Heath, The Hollywood News:
"There are also fleeting appearances from the likes of Matthias Schoenaerts and Jürgen Prochnow, as well as the final on-screen appearances from two of Europe finest actors of their generation, Bruno Ganz and Michael Nyqvist. It is, however, Diehl and Pachner who are most deserved of praise as they really carry the movie in two demanding roles."

Peter Debruge, Variety:
"There are no battlefields in Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life — only fields of wheat — no concentration-camp horrors, no dramatic midnight raids. But make no mistake: This is a war movie; it’s just that the fight that’s raging here is an internal one, between a Christian and his conscience. A refulgent return to form from one of cinema’s vital auteurs, A Hidden Life pits the righteous against the Reich, and puts personal integrity over National Socialism, focusing on the true story of Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter’s rejection of Adolf Hitler and his refusal to serve in what he sees as an unjust war... Appealing to the bishop (Michael Nyqvist, the first of several major Euro stars glimpsed only for a couple minutes), Franz argues, 'If God gives us free will, we are responsible for what we do' — and just as importantly, 'what we don’t do.'"