Terence Malik’s latest is the true story of Franz Jagerstatter (an excellent August Diehl), an Austrian peasant farmer who refused to fight for the Nazis in WWII. He is offered conscientious objector status, but will not swear loyalty to Adolf Hitler. Bolstered by his love for his wife (Valerie Pachner) and children, he remains unwavering despite abuse, torture and threat of execution.
Those uninitiated in Malik’s cosmic yet detailed examinations of existence and faith will want to bring along an extra portion of patience. You have to work to appreciate this ambitious, profoundly moving and meditative film, but there are great rewards to be had.
Most importantly, in many ways it’s politically relevant today. What would you do?