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Hannah Arendt (2012)

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

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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 Saint James ... Student Laureen (as Leila Schaus)
Harvey Friedman ... Thomas Miller
Victoria Trauttmansdorff Victoria Trauttmansdorff ... Charlotte Beradt
Sascha Ley Sascha Ley ... Lore Jonas
Friederike Becht ... Young Hannah Arendt
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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)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,270, 2 June 2013

Gross USA:

$717,205

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,880,936
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For a deeper understanding of this story, one might care to watch Operation Finale, which depicts the undercover mission to find and extract Adolph Eichman from Argentina and bring him to trial in Israel. Showing the backgroung of an operation sanctioned by PM Ben Gurion, the film gives us a glimpse of the complexity of Eichman's character, his futile attemps to justify his actions and tell his side of the story. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mary McCarthy: But Hannah, how can you defend him?
Hannah Arendt: But I'm not defending him. You can hardly forget that your husband is only my friend because of you. And I don't throw away my friends so quickly.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Cafe Ivory
Composed and Produced by Frank Stumvoll
Courtesy of Freshart Musicproductions
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User Reviews

 
brave film with intellectual challenges
23 January 2013 | by maurice_yacowarSee all my reviews

Margarethe von Trotta's Hannah Arendt is a film about thinking. Moreover, it's in favour of it. It so values thinking that it offers some elegant speeches and debate, sans computer generated spectaculars.

Barbara Sukowa portrays the German Jewish philosopher during the period she covered the Adolf Eichmann trial in Israel for The New Yorker. The film confronts the controversy Arendt raised when (i) she redefined Eichmann not as a monster but as an ordinary nobody, exemplifying "the banality of evil," (ii) she reported that some Jews collaborated with the Nazis, resulting in more deaths than chaos would have caused, and (iii) she said she loves her friends but not any "people," in this case, the Jews. On all three counts she was condemned for abandoning her people. Today, at a remove from the heat of that moment, she was clearly correct on all counts. For more see www.yacowar.blogspot.com.

Not loving the Jews was not being anti-Semitic but refusing to emotionalize her consideration of the issues. Arendt was opposed to the blanket love of any group of people, not based on personal engagement, because such nationalist or other group identification precluded the thoughtful consideration of any issues around them. She most valued a rational, thoughtful approach that was not prejudged or proscribed by any -ism or convention. As for some Jews' collaboration, she simply reported facts that arose at the trial. (Indeed, Rudolf van den Berg's new film Suskind details precisely that collaboration.) Nor was that observation anti-Semitic, for the possibly well-intentioned collaboration in the face of horrid danger is a plausible response among any people. Arendt was pilloried for facing the facts and for rejecting myths. That's what historians are required to do and apparently what philosophers periodically have to remind them to do.


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