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A Hidden Life, by Terrence Malick

Film Club - Week 01

“…for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” George Eliot, Middlemarch

Talking points

“Most of the famous religious-themed Hollywood movies – from “The Ten Commandments” to “The Greatest Story Ever Told” – are biblical epics functioning as star-studded illustrated guidebooks to sacred texts. Writer-director Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life” is the antithesis of those epics. It’s an attempt to make the movie itself function as a religious experience.” (Peter Rainer )

  • Would you agree with this statement? If so, what about the film gave you a ‘religious experience’?
  • What about the film stood out to you the most? If you were going to recommend (or not recommend) this film to someone else, how would you describe it?
  • One clergyman tells Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl) “God doesn’t care what you say; only what’s in your heart.”
  • Do you think that Franz Jägerstätter’s sacrifice was worth it? How would you have advised him as a fellow follower of Christ?
  • The real Franz Jägerstätter wrote in his prison journals “Nominal Christians do the most harm to the church.” Do you agree with this statement?
  • How has this watching this filmed changed your perspective? What will you do differently?

Further reading

Our very own Natan Mladin wrote an article on the film for Theos Think Tank and it’s well worth a read. 

Podcast

Click here to listen to our first podcast episode where we discuss these questions and the film in more detail. If you’d like to share your thoughts with the rest of Film Club, please send them to eleanorfaithjackson@gmail.com