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.