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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When Arendt stands on the terrace of her hotel in Jerusalem at looks across the Valley of Hinnom at the Old City, there are Israel flags flying from the Tower of David complex. However, the Old City of Jerusalem was still under Jordanian control in 1961. See more »
The manifestation of the wind of thought is not knowledge, but the ability to tell right from wrong, beautiful from ugly. And I hope that thinking gives people the strength to prevent catastrophes in these rare moments when the chips are down.
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Interesting movie based on facts about her turbulent life and focusing especially Eichmann trial
An intense look at the trouble life of philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt , who reported for The New Yorker on the war crimes trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann . It deals with her American personal experiences , as in 1950 , Hanna (Barbara Sukowa) became a naturalized citizen of the United States along with her husband Heinrich Blucher (Axel Milberg) . Arendt served as a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, Princeton University, and Northwestern University. In the spring of 1959, she became the first woman lecturer at Princeton ; Arendt also taught at the University of Chicago , The New School in Manhattan and Yale University . Furthermore , in the movie appears some flashbacks about her relationship with Martin Heidegger (Klaus Pohl) . Hanna was was a German-American political theorist as well as a prestigious philosopher . Arendt's work deals with the nature of power, and the subjects of politics, direct democracy, authority, and totalitarianism.
This is a brooding and thought-provoking biographic drama about the notorious philosopher focusing mainly the Eichman trial . Stands out the wonderful acting by Barbara Sukowa who is terrific in the title role . Support cast is frankly excellent such as Axel Milberg as her husband Heinrich Blucher , Janet McTeer as the writer Mary McCarthy and Julia Jentsch as her helper , the latter also starred another good film about Nazism titled ¨Sophie Scholl¨ . The motion picture was well directed by Margarethe Von Trotta and it belongs a trilogy dealing with Nazism , formed by ¨Roxa Luxemburg¨ also starred by Barbara Sukowa and ¨Rosenstrasse¨or Street of roses .
The picture is based on real events about Hanna Arendt life ; Arendt's first major book was entitled, The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), which traced the roots of Stalinist Communism and Nazism in both anti-Semitism and imperialism . In her reporting of the Eichmann trial for The New Yorker, which evolved into Eichmann in Jerusalem : A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963), she coined the phrase "the banality of evil" to describe Eichmann. She raised the question of whether evil is radical or simply a function of thoughtlessness, a tendency of ordinary people to obey orders and conform to mass opinion without a critical evaluation of the consequences of their actions and inaction.Arendt was sharply critical of the way the trial was conducted in Israel. She also was critical of the way that some Jewish leaders, notably M. C. Rumkowski, acted during the Holocaust. This caused a considerable controversy and even animosity toward Arendt in the Jewish community. Her friend Gershom Scholem, a major scholar of Jewish mysticism, broke off relations with her. Arendt was criticized by many Jewish public figures, who charged her with coldness and lack of sympathy for the victims of the Shoah/Holocaust. Due to this lingering criticism, her book has only recently been translated into Hebrew.
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