7.1/10
9,186
38 user 132 critic

Hannah Arendt (2012)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama | 10 January 2013 (Germany)
Trailer
2:06 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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.

Writers:

Pamela Katz (screenplay) (as Pam Katz), Margarethe von Trotta (screenplay)
5 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Sukowa ... Hannah Arendt
Janet McTeer ... Mary McCarthy
Julia Jentsch ... Lotte Köhler
Axel Milberg ... Heinrich Blücher
Timothy Lone Timothy Lone ... News Speaker
Megan Gay ... Francis Wells
Nicholas Woodeson ... William Shawn
Tom Leick ... Jonathan Schell
Ulrich Noethen ... Hans Jonas
Nilton Martins ... Student Enrico
Leila Schaus ... Student Laureen
Harvey Friedman ... Thomas Miller
Victoria Trauttmansdorff Victoria Trauttmansdorff ... Charlotte Beradt
Sascha Ley Sascha Ley ... Lore Jonas
Friederike Becht Friederike Becht ... Young Hannah Arendt
Edit

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)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Germany | Luxembourg | France | Israel

Language:

German | English | French | Hebrew | Latin

Release Date:

10 January 2013 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Hana Arent See more »

Filming Locations:

Israel See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,270, 2 June 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$714,442, 3 November 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

Throughout the movie, the interior settings reveal that the movie was filmed in Germany and not in New York. Arendt's kitchen contains some vintage German-style appliances, not exclusively vintage American ones. The university lecture hall where Arendt defends herself has a German style of interior architecture, not an American one. The faculty dining hall is also designed and decorated in a German or European style, not an American one as one would have expected at an American university in 1963. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Hannah Arendt: The whole world is trying to prove that I'm wrong. And no one sees my real mistake. Evil cannot be both ordinary and radical. Evil is always extreme. Never radical. Good is always deep and radical.
Heinrich Blücher: Would you have covered the trial if you knew what was expecting you?
Hannah Arendt: Yes. I would have covered it. Maybe to learn who my real friends are.
Heinrich Blücher: Kurt was your friend and would have remained such.
Hannah Arendt: Kurt was my family.
See more »

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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
How do you think about the unthinkable
1 August 2013 | by Red-125See all my reviews

Hannah Arendt (2012) is a movie co-written and directed by the outstanding German director Margarethe von Trotta.

The film stars Barbara Sukowa as Arendt, who was one of he leading intellectual thinkers of the 20th Century. Arendt's history reads more like fiction than non-fiction. As discussed in the movie, she studied in Germany under the great philosopher Heidegger, was imprisoned in a Nazi internment camp in France, from which she escaped, came to the U.S., and taught at some of the finest universities in our country.

The movie concentrates on the furor that arose after Arendt wrote about the Eichmann trial for The New Yorker. (These articles were later published as a book.) Arendt brought forth her theory of the banality of evil in these articles. Her point was that an evil person like Eichmann was not a monster, but rather a person who has renounced his ability to think, and therefore has renounced his status as a human being.

Arendt believed that Jews who accepted a modicum of authority from the Germans contributed to the Holocaust, because without the Jewish leaders to maintain order, there would have been more chaos and less killing of Jews.

This latter belief made people furious, because it suggested that the Jews were partially responsible for their own fate. This is hard enough to hear now. You can imagine how it was received in 1961, less than 20 years after the Holocaust.

One weakness of the film is that the script suggests that "everyone" was talking about Arendt's writing. Then, as now, the intellectuals of the Upper West Side of Manhattan did not represent a true sample of the U.S. population. Many people were aware of the Eichmann trial, but Arendt's writings passed unnoticed by most people.

Another weakness is that characters in Arendt's life are introduced once, and then never again. If you miss the names the first time, you'll just have to live without knowing who was whom. That's not so bad, because you can accept Barbara Sukowa as Arendt. Everyone else in the film revolves around her.

If you're interested in the Holocaust and in 20th Century philosophy, the film is a must. Even if those topics aren't important to you, the movie is compelling as a study in human behavior and human interactions. We saw the film at the Rochester Jewish Community Center as part of terrific Rochester Jewish Film Festival. If it's available on DVD or at another festival, I recommend that you see it.


16 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 38 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed