Friday, November 7, 2014
Hannah Arendt by Margarethe von Trotta, 2012
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.
I was looking forward to watch the movie, after recording and editing a segment for the DVD release in the US, featuring Margarethe von Trotta, Barbara Sukowa and Janet McTeer.
The movie surprised me by creating an internal conflict between what we are politically correctly thinking and what she stood for, in a philosophical way. She was indeed quite a thinker, and in a way, a free woman, free from her origins, free from her upbringing, and freed from her own past. Yes, she might have written all the bitterness and pain the people trialing Eichmann felt, but she detached herself from the personal, and studied the situation as in a world where people would behave in an expected manner, and modeled it to understand what has gone wrong. Her accusations are hard to take, and perhaps her expectation for a entire community to unite and remain organized in a total chaos targeting them are a little high. And on the other hand, her views of the Nazi regime authorities were a little too much about organization and not so much about people's personality. But as hard to believe as it is, it indeed created two complete opposites that in her argument created one of the worse chapters of our history.
I forgot to mention the performance of Sukowa which is very good, on top of it because she is performing in English most of it, and developing complex ideas in an intelligible way. It is a pleasure to attend what could have been one of Arendt classes and lectures. Her husband played by Axel Milberg is amazing in creating that intimacy that helps us see Arendt beyond her lack of sensibility as a philosopher. Janet McTeer is the most unusual character, reflecting on the superficiality and brilliance of the mind of Mary McCarthy.
with Barbara Sukowa, Janet McTeer (Portrait of a Marriage, Albert Nobbs), Julia Jentsch, Axel Milberg, Ulrich Noethen, Michael Degen, Nicholas Woodeson, Victoria Trauttmansdorff, Klaus Pohl