November 08, 2013

Hannah Arendt (2012)

Hannah Arendt (2012) - Movie Review
Directed by: Margarethe von Trotta
Country: Germany / others

Movie Review: German-Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt’s biopic is a compelling drama that captivates mostly for the realistic and sober way the scenes are presented. Known to be a great thinker of her time and student of Martin Heidegger, Arendt would become a political theorist who was many times misunderstood and criticized. Her work falls on themes such as totalitarianism, democracy, and authority. This film centers particularly on Arendt’s response to the 1961 trial of former Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann, in a series of articles for The New Yorker. Arendt’s personality and ideas were depicted through conversations with her intellectual friends, or in school during her classes. Without any kind of dramatic exploitation, we get to know that this polemic woman was in a German detention camp in France, and for her the US was a paradise of freedom. Barbara Sukowa’s performance was worthy, giving the real notion of a woman who died thinking about her famous topic, ‘banality of evil’. Despite all these favorable aspects, I believe some others could have been improved. The pace was steady, while most of the scenes were cold and straightforward, sometimes lacking motion and emotion. That’s why “Hannah Arendt” wasn’t made to please everyone. Margarethe Von Trotta’s risky approach must be praised since it is anti-sensationalist, but in several moments the film fails to engage, and we absorb the divided world created by this frontal woman with a certain distance.

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