After basic training, Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl) is expected to swear an allegiance to the Third Reich, but refuses; his resistance to the war puts him in danger. True to his style, Terrence Malick follows the farmer through his ordeal, a real-life battle of conscience that makes him clash with neighbors and men of the cloth, up until the inevitable moment when he’s executed by the Nazis in 1943. Jägerstätter turns into a Christ figure who prays for guidance, but a degree of the drama suffers because of Malick’s three-hour treatment, mixing views of the Alps with playing children and concerned looks.
2019-U.S. 174 min. Color. Widescreen. Written and directed by Terrence Malick. Cinematography: Jörg Widmer. Cast: August Diehl (Franz Jägerstätter), Valerie Pachner (Franziska Jägerstätter), Michael Nyqvist (Joseph Fliesser), Jürgen Prochnow, Matthias Schoenaerts, Bruno Ganz.
Trivia: Nyqvist’s last film. The story of Jägerstätter was also told in a 1971 German TV movie.