Hannah Arendt

German director Margarethe von Trotta beautifully turns invisible passion for thought into an immersive, taut drama. This urbane take on the life, career and loves of German Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) shines a light on one of the most celebrated independent thinkers of the 20th century. A refugee from Germany, Arendt surfaces in an Upper West Side apartment and in classrooms of the New School where she taught. Already a successful writer, New Yorker magazine sends her to Jerusalem in 1961 to witness and write about the trial of Adolph Eichmann, one of the architects of the Nazis’ genocidal “final solution.” Transfixed and agitated, Arendt begins to formulate her now famous concept, “the banality of evil,” that opens up a flood of controversy that changed her life forever. Using black-and-white footage from the actual Eichmann trials and weaving a narrative that spans three countries, this stunning biopic features legendary German actress Barbara Sukowa, brilliant as Arendt, the philosopher who embodied self-assurance and the capacity for love, the implacability of thought and the deep need for friendship in equal measure. Among the leading characters are philosopher Martin Heidegger, New Yorker editor William Shawn, and author Mary McCarthy, a close friend and confidant (played by twice Oscar nominated Janet McTeer).
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