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Cannes Unveils the Resistance Films That Will Define Our Next Year of Movies

Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Cannes Film Festival

Resistance is futile? Nobody told the directors at the Cannes Film Festival. In one movie after another, this year’s big premiere’s follow characters facing hopeless situations, right as the walls are closing in. And yet their rage against the dying of the light is downright inspiring. If Cannes takes the artistic pulse of the world, then the cultural pressure is rising. And something’s going to blow.

Just look at Terrence Malick’s spiritual epic A Hidden Life. This beatific meditation on the value of conviction is based on the true story of 1940s Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl), who went off to fight in WW II but refused to sign a loyalty pledge to Adolf Hitler. Surrounded by Nazi sycophants and collaborators, Jägerstätter suffers ridicule and scorn. Branded a traitor, he’s thrown in prison and faces even more dire consequences. Relent, he’s told. It’s just a piece of paper. It doesn’t matter. But it does.

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In our current world of rampant Nationalism, here’s a period movie about rejecting a tribal society with weathervane beliefs and defying a leader obsessed with obsequious allegiance. Timely? No question. Will audiences connect? We’ll find out soon enough. In a deal that feels more like throwing down the gauntlet, Fox Searchlight just bought worldwide rights for an estimate $12 to $14 million.

A Hidden Life. Cannes Film Festival

That said, A Hidden Life is a daunting commercial prospect, a three-hour pastoral meditation with no movie stars that’s suffused with light-dappled landscapes, fresh-faced children running through meadows, and relentless voiceover narration dripping with banalities like “What’s happened to our country,

Article source: https://observer.com/2019/05/resistance-films-2019-2020-movies-cannes-premieres/

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