Thursday, June 20, 2013

Film - Hannah Arendt (2012)


Director, Margarethe von Trotta and actress Barbara Sukowa made Rosa Luxemburg, a film about the life and politics of the provocative socialist.  Though it came out in 1986, I still remember it.  So when I heard they had teemed up again to make a film about philosopher Hannah Arendt, I didn't want to miss it.  Arendt's coverage of the Adolph Eichmann trials in Jerusalem in 1961 in The New Yorker was, to say the least, controversial and provoked incendiary reactions.  Her goal, though, according to this film, was to use thought to understand the man rather than to judge him.  This appears, too, to be von Trotta's mantra.  She makes intimate films about the interior lives of women who profoundly influenced the politics of their era to explore their motives and the consequences of living as they did for a cause.  It is a relief to see a film about the value of thought in the context of politics - especially politics that provokes strong feelings.  We could do with a little of that.  And if that weren't reason enough to see it, Janet McTeer plays writer Mary McCarthy in it.

4 comments:

James Chester said...

I will be going to see this. Have your read Eichman in Jerusalem? It's an excellent book. One that may make you re-think your core beliefs.

Ted said...

James - I haven't read it. It's the writing of that book that is the subject of this film. I'll be curious to hear your take.

Sheila O'Malley said...

I really must see this. Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem is incredible - hard to believe it even exists. Essential reading, and you can certainly see why it was controversial. Thanks for your thoughts!

Ted said...

S - It's closed at film forum but I believe it's at the Quad now. Despite some stodgy exposition, it tells the story effectively.