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A look at the life of philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt, who reported for The New Yorker on the war crimes trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann.

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(screenplay) (as Pam Katz), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lotte Köhler
Axel Milberg ...
Heinrich Blücher
Timothy Lone ...
News Speaker
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Francis Wells
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Jonathan Schell
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Student Enrico
Leila Schaus ...
Student Laureen
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Thomas Miller
Victoria Trauttmansdorff ...
Charlotte Beradt
Sascha Ley ...
Lore Jonas
Friederike Becht ...
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Storyline

In 1961, the noted German-American philosopher, Hannah Arendt, gets to report on the trial of the notorious Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann. While observing the legal proceedings, the Holocaust survivor concludes that Eichmann was not a simple monster, but an ordinary man who had thoughtlessly buried his conscience through his obedience to the Nazi regime and its ideology. Arendt's expansion of this idea, presented in the articles for "New Yorker", would create the concept of "the banality of evil" that she thought even sucked in some Jewish leaders of the era into unwittingly participating in the Holocaust. The result is a bitter public controversy in which Arendt is accused of blaming the Holocaust's victims. Now that strong willed intellectual is forced to defend her daringly innovative ideas about moral complexity in a struggle that will exact a heavy personal cost. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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Biography | Drama

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Release Date:

10 January 2013 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Hana Arent  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$31,270 (USA) (31 May 2013)

Gross:

$714,442 (USA) (1 November 2013)
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Hannah Arendt: How can you leave me like that? No hug, no kiss?
Heinrich Blücher: Never disturb a great philosopher when they're thinking.
Hannah Arendt: But they can't think without kisses.
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Connections

Featured in Democracy Now!: Episode dated 26 November 2013 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Sherry Lane
Composed and Produced by Frank Stumvoll
Courtesy of Freshart Musicproductions
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User Reviews

 
Philosophy With A Hammer.................
1 June 2013 | by (Arroyo Grande, California) – See all my reviews

Folks, this is what Philosophy is all about: taking a stand which is not always popular and being able to justify it for the ages. Hannah Arendt is only in this century beginning to receive her due as the most perspicuous political philosopher of the 20th century. After all, it was Ms Arendt who first observed that post-Hiroshima, a conventional war could never again be fought and won. But rather, all pre-emptive invasions who devolve into occupations - that rather than full-scale war or revolutions - the world would sink increasingly into a mire of entropic violence. Her controversial thesis in Eichmann In Jerusalem - yet another masterpiece of at least five in her canon, is that mass atrocities are not committed by idiosyncratic madmen who erect vast engines of evil in which the followers (citizens of the state) serve as the 'cogs' – but rather the architectonic of evil consists in the actions of rather ordinary people who for various reasons and rationalizations refuse to think about the ramifications of what they're doing. I mention this point because I've studied Ms Arendt's work for over three decades, lived in Greenwich Village when she was teaching at the New School, and when I saw the film premiere at the Santa Barbara Film Festival this past January – I felt that most of the scant audience did not get the point any more than her contemporaries. The film-making is excellent. To dramatize philosophic ideas is challenge in itself. Von Trotta, in the old European style, makes her films with a regular group of actors, and, while the performances were effective throughout, in real life, Hannah Arendt was not nearly so physically engaging and Mary McCarthy quite a bit more – which, I believe had something to do with the development their respective moral characters. All in all, a great, not merely a good, film – and one of the few worth seeing thus far this year – unless, of course, the attributes of fast and furious 6 or iron man 3 overwhelm.


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