The last weeks of 2019 brought two film releases that deserve the attention of the widest possible audience for their affirmation of enduring values. Though both A HIDDEN LIFE and JUST MERCY received only very limited distribution at year’s end, they should win new attention in the new year for their historically accurate portrayal of real-life heroes motivated by deep Christian faith.
Franz Jaegerstaeter, the subject of A HIDDEN LIFE, was an Austrian farmer who, in the midst of World War II, refused to take an oath of loyalty to Hitler because he felt higher loyalty to his God and Savior. JUST MERCIES highlights the tireless work of Bryan Stevenson, an African-American lawyer motivated by his commitment to the church to rescue the wrongly convicted from death row.
With religion under regular assault from so much of popular culture, these two superbly well-crafted films offer a refreshing, much-needed alternative.