Terrence Malick’s ‘A Hidden Life’

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Jean-Pierre Sonnet, SJ

 Jean-Pierre Sonnet, SJ / Issue 2003 / 20 February 2020

Terrence Malick’s latest film A Hidden Life has now been released on the big screen. Previewed at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, it won the Ecumenical Jury Prize and the François-Chalais Prize.

A Hidden Life reveals the power cinema has to become epiphany, to be light about light. While the work represents the director’s return to a more structured narrative (after the experimental period of 2011-17), it also radically prolongs the art that underlies all of Malick’s films: from Badlands (1973) to Song to Song (2017), including masterpieces such as The Thin Red Line (1998) and The Tree of Life (2011), winner of the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. The film is undoubtedly Malick’s most spiritual film: “it’s a movie you enter, like a cathedral of the senses,” wrote Owen Gleiberman in Variety. In it a man’s prayer is heard.

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