'A Hidden Life': Trailer for film about Austrian Catholic killed for refusing to support Nazis released

A Hidden Life
A shot from the trailer for the 2019 film "A Hidden Life" starring August Diehl as Franz Jägerstätter. |

Fox Searchlight Pictures has released the trailer for “A Hidden Life,” an upcoming film about a devout Catholic who was executed for refusing to serve in the German Army during the Second World War.

The movie is based on the life of an Austrian peasant and practicing Catholic named Franz Jägerstätter, who suffered at the hands of the Nazis for his opposition to their agenda.

The official trailer for “A Hidden Life” was posted to YouTube on Tuesday by the Fox Searchlight channel.

“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,” states the video description.

The film was written and directed by Terrence Malick, the mind behind the 2011 film “The Tree of Life,” which also focused on spiritual and moral issues following a child’s loss of innocence.

Malick also directed and co-wrote the 1998 war movie “The Thin Red Line,” in which two of the main characters, played by Jim Caviezel and Sean Penn, debate whether there is a spiritual meaning to life.

Scheduled for release in the United States this December, “A Hidden Life” stars August Diehl as Jägerstätter and Valerie Pachner as his wife Franziska.

In May, Fox Searchlight Pictures Chairmen Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula announced that they had acquired distribution rights for the movie.

“Malick has crafted a majestic and deeply affecting story of a man who held onto unwavering faith and devotion during the darkness of war,” they stated earlier this year.

“He has brought his exquisite filmmaking style to this powerful portrait of one man’s spirit in a time of crisis. The performances by the cast, anchored by August Diehl and Valerie Pachner, are tremendous.”

In 2007, Jägerstätter was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church and was seen as a symbol of dissent against Nazism despite not being a member of any resistance groups.

“Franz was neither a revolutionary nor part of any resistance movement, but in 1938 he was the only local citizen to vote against the ‘Anschluss’ (annexation of Austria by Germany), because his conscience prevailed over the path of least resistance,” stated the Vatican on its website.

“Jägerstätter, who would not bow his head to Hitler, bowed his head to God, and the guillotine took care of the rest. He was obviously called up to serve a higher order.”

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