Previously Played

HANNAH ARENDT

  • 1:00
  • 3:10
  • 5:30
  • 7:45
  • 10:00

$7 Member   $12.50 Regular

DIRECTED BY MARGARETHE VON TROTTA

HANNAH ARENDT

“Premier David Ben-Gurion announced today that Adolf Eichmann, the S.S. colonel who headed the Gestapo’s Jewish Section, was under arrest in Israel and would stand trial for his life.” – The New York Times (May 24, 1960). The luminous Barbara Sukowa stars as the brilliant German-Jewish emigree, Hannah Arendt – sent to cover the trial in Jerusalem by New Yorker editor William Shawn; her coverage becomes one of the most important and controversial books ever written on the Holocaust: Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil.  A veritable hornet’s nest of ugly accusations, recriminations, and counter-charges greets Arendt’s proposition that ordinary people are capable of the vile acts for which Eichmann stands justly accused. Arendt’s loyal friend, writer Mary McCarthy (played by Janet McTeer) comes to her defense in Margarethe von Trotta’s deeply serious, yet wildly entertaining look at the lives and loves of a bevy of New York’s most famed intellectuals during the 1950s and ‘60s. Von Trotta  -- working with longtime co-screenwriter Pamela Katz -- brings a practiced eye, a compassionate mind, and, appropriately, fearless independence, to this riveting portrait of a woman of both ideas and heart.

Presented with support from the JOAN S. CONSTANTINER FUND FOR JEWISH AND HOLOCAUST FILM

GERMANY • 2012 • 113 MINS. • IN ENGLISH AND GERMAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
ZEITGEIST FILMS

REVIEWS

top

“Ardent and intelligent…turns ideas into the best kind of entertainment. There is an undeniable nostalgic thrill in stepping into an era in New York when philosophers live in apartments with Hudson River views. I would not hesitate to describe (the film) as an action movie… Its climax…matches some of the great courtroom scenes in cinema and provides a stirring reminder that the labor of figuring out the world is necessary, difficult and sometimes genuinely heroic... My only real problem with (it) is that it’s not a mini-series.”
– A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“Hannah Arendt’s (book) set off a storm like few books before or since. Among Upper West Side intellectuals it sparked, as the critic Irving Howe put it, ‘a civil war,’ siring vicious debates and souring lifelong friendships. It also sold more than 100,000 copies and reshaped the way people have thought about the Holocaust, genocide and the puzzle of evil ever since.”
– Fred Kaplan, The New York Times

“More than any other individual, (Arendt) brought the culture of Weimar Jewish intellectuals to New York… Arendt’s report made ‘the banality of evil’ a world-renowned phrase and its author the most reviled Jewish thinker since Baruch Spinoza… (Barbara Sukowa delivers) a robustly physical performance. HANNAH ARENDT is ultimately a pleasure, because Sukowa plays the most forbidding of intellectuals as a fabulous, passionate doll. Sometimes clueless, sometimes kittenish, and always, always thinking, her Hannah is not only admirable but lovable.”
– J. Hoberman, Tablet Magazine

“Brought to life by a mesmerizing Barbara Sukowa. William Shawn (is played by) a droll Nicolas Woodeson… Director von Trotta, in a 30-year creative partnership with Sukowa, adds smart, grown-up girl talk about men, marriage, and careers with Arendt’s loyal friend Mary McCarthy (a zingy Janet McTeer).”
– Marsha McCreadie, Village Voice

“Barbara Sukowa is magnetic as the great writer and philosopher.  Seems like an impossible subject for film, yet even viewers who have never read a word of her books will be stirred by her intellectual and emotional courage in Sukowa’s award-worthy performance.”
– Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

“The best movie this critic has ever seen about the life and times of a writer. German titan Margarethe von Trotta’s magnificent meditation on the German-Jewish political theorist.”  
– Brandon Harris, Filmmaker Magazine

“Sukowa proves a brilliant choice for the philosopher; she ‘does’ stillness about as well as any actress in cinema today, and her mobile face and flashing eyes suggest a powerful intelligence under the surface… The question of the nature of human evil, central to Arendt’s later work, is still with us, and the passage of time and free flow of innocent blood … suggests that Arendt was not wrong.”
– George Robinson, The Jewish Week

“An outstanding cinematic portrait. Extremely vivid, thrilling in its every minute, deeply moving in its seriousness and suitably unsettling.”
– Elke Schmitter, Der Spiegel

Trailer

top

Listen

top

subscribe to the podcast

HANNAH ARENDT: Q & A with filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta, star Barbara Sukowa, and screenwriter Pamela Katz (Recorded May 29, 2013)