Hannah Arendt France, Germany, Luxembourg 2012 – 113min.

Movie Rating

Hannah Arendt

Valérie Lobsiger
Movie Rating: Valérie Lobsiger

In 1961, Hannah Arendt is sent by The New Yorker to Adolf Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem.

Captured by the Mossad in Argentina in 1960, Nazi Adolf Eichmann, responsible for the emigration of Jews starting in 1935 and then their mass deportation to extermination camps, appears in Jerusalem in front of an ad hoc tribunal to stand trial for his horrific acts. Hannah Arendt, German philosopher and political theorist, a Jewish refugee living, writing and teaching in the US, attends the trial as a reporter for The New Yorker. But, far from the monster she expected, she discovers a petty bureaucrat who claims he was just following orders and who pleads not guilty. Back in New York, she debates the issue with her close confidants and takes two years to write "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil". Its publication causes a scandal...

Barbara Sukowa, favorite actress of Margarethe von Trotta (Rosa Luxembourg, Hildegard von Bingen, etc.), makes a big splash as Hannah Arendt, revealing Arendt's personality, which is less known to the public than her ideas. Contrary to other recent Nazi movies, which portrayed Adolf Hitler for example, no one plays Eichmann, which is a good thing. By falling back on documents of the time, the director appeals directly to the audience. Eichmann refused be seen as a typically evil. Trying to understand such a person does not pardon them, but may offer the chance to foresee catastrophe.



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11 years ago

Fascinating character and topic - but somehow doesn't work as a film.

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