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A HIDDEN LIFE

Writer/auteur Terrence Malick, has superlatively, with fecund imagination, blessed audiences with a masterpiece simmering in sacredness; a marriage of such profundity, depth, it transcends description; an aesthete, Franz Jaggerstatter (August Diehl) marries Fani (Valerie Pachner), a woman whose every fiber is matched dreamily with her husband; peasant farmers, in the Elysian, pastoral fields of Austria; twentieth- century madness of WWII splinters their idyllic interlude; Franz’s conscientious objectiveness stymies his will to engage in a war, championing evil; Catholicism informs his lifestyle and gives him the fortitude to adhere, intransigently, to his resolve. Franz and Fani, simple, guileless, decent people are, until now, unheralded heroes, martyrs; Malick with wonderous wizardry breaths life, lionization,  saturating sanctification, to a legacy worthy of plaudits.

“A Hidden Life” with beautiful and bitter leisure, in tandem with the compelling, haunting soundtrack by James Newton Howard, moves through the years without merciless, gruesome scenes of property and spirits demolished, demoralized; the lack of charity, a major virtue espoused by the Catholic Church, practiced by villagers, cauterizing Franz, Fani and their three daughters, and the soaring grace and equanimity they exhibit by never sinking to their neighbors bestial disregard and cruelty.

 

The scope and finery of the film is the landscape; a nonjudgmental witness, steadfast in its existence; prolific soil, forgiving and unforgiving, yielding and unyielding, archivist of the past, harbinger of the future, protector of secrets and souls, immutable, infallible, invincible.

 

FIVE STARS!!!!!

 

Peneflix

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