Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 02 August 2013 00:00

'Hannah Arendt' debates and dramatizes weighty issues

Barbara Sukowa as Hannah Arendt Barbara Sukowa as Hannah Arendt www.zeitgeistfilms.com / Véronique Kolber
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

  • Director: Margarethe von Trotta
  • Dates: Opens August 2, 2013

Describing herself as a political theorist because of her interest in the communal, not the individual, Hannah Arendt is well known for her observations on "the banality of evil." German director Margarethe von Trotta's film "Hannah Arendt" fully interrogates that concept, putting it into a full, complex context.

A fascinating intellectual, Arendt escaped in 1941, along with her then husband and mother, to the U.S. from a concentration camp in southern France. The film picks up Hannah's life in New York in the 1960s and crosscuts between her job as a New School lecturer and her coverage of the Adolph Eichmann trial in Jerusalem. Writing initially a five-part article for The New Yorker, Hannah published her extensive analysis in 1963 as the book "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil."

In her writings, Hannah describes Eichmann as less a monster than a cog in the bureaucracy, finds fault with the German and Polish Jewish leaders, and takes Israel to task for its handling of the trial. This led to bitter debates amidst harsh criticism of Arendt, who was clearly misguided in accepting Eichmann's testimony and in believing that he had limited knowledge, functioning merely as a bureaucrat.

The film doesn't include all the details that would add greater perspective, but no one limited work, running under two hours, can probe the multifaceted issues and events involved here. Still, seldom has such a robust examination been presented through such captivating drama with so much at stake. "Hannah Arendt" makes crystal clear that history, the Holocaust and, Israel's trial of some who perpetrated it matter immensely then--and now, including connections with contemporary war criminals and calls for justice.

As Arendt, Barbara Sukowa is spectacular. She makes thinking and debating ideas a thrilling exercise, one dramatized in numerous exchanges. Co-writer Von Trotta has directed Sukowa in several other outstanding films, and these two work together in perfect synch. "Hannah Arendt" is equally upsetting and provocative, appealing to our heads and our hearts through a first-rate biographical portrait. In English and in German, French and Hebrew, all with English subtitles. At a Landmark Theatre.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

KDHX Recommends

June
Saturday
06

Brunch at the Stage: Roger Netherton and Friends

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


June
Wednesday
10

KDHX Discovery Series: Rougher All Stars

The Rougher All Stars formed in late 2013 in the Midwest's cultural Paris, Kansas City, best known for its distinctive contribution to jazz (and reggae) in the form of swing. All of the members of the Rougher All Stars are...


June
Saturday
13

Brunch at the Stage: Mayor Taylor

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

6 users and 12274 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook