The incredible trial of an appallingly ordinary man. Drawn entirely on the 350 hours of rare footage recorded during the trial of Adolf Eichmann, in 1961, in Jerusalem, this film about ...
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Avner W. Less,
A documentary about the life and work of hannah arendt, the prolific and unclassifiable thinker,political theorist, moral philosopher and polemicist, and with her encounter with the trial of Eichmann a high ranking nazi.
The incredible trial of an appallingly ordinary man. Drawn entirely on the 350 hours of rare footage recorded during the trial of Adolf Eichmann, in 1961, in Jerusalem, this film about obedience and responsibility is the portrait of an expert in problems resolving, a modern criminal. The film is inspired from the controversial book by Hannah Arendt : "Eichmann in Jerusalem, report on the banality of evil".
The first thing that comes to mind after watching this, is that the whole judicial trial in 1962 was pretty much one sided. There didn't seem to a defense for Adolf Eichmann. One could look at this in a dark way and say that if he was tried today with O.J.Simpon's lawyer, he would have gotten away with crime against humanity...
This film doesn't try to portray a fair trial of a Nazi criminal, which it wasn't. All it intended to do was to document some of the proceedings in 1962. But nevertheless, even if Adolf Eichmann was guilty without a shadow of doubt, it would have been more satisfying to have seen the defense putting on a fight, and not seeing judges complaining about a witness' answer to a question as vague, when the question was itself vague.
Maybe I'm expecting too much... but the film does the legal system no justice.
The most interesting thing by far is seeing Eichmann's little nuances and behaviour as he sits back and listens to the prosecutor's statements and eye witness accounts. You can almost see the indifference in his eyes, there is no remorse and I would guess not much of a conscience.
The 350 hours (originally 500 hours, but most of it was not recovered) of film which this documentary was based on, is a historical 'document' and this should be of great interest to anyone who wants to learn more about one of the darkest times in man's history.
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