Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hannah Arendt

Director: Margarethe Von Trotta

Starring: Barbara Sukowa, Janet McTeer, Mary McCarthy

This is the complex story of Hannah Arendt (Barbara Sukowa), a Manhattan-based German-Jewish philosopher, who volunteered to cover the Adolf Eichmann trial in 1961 for the New Yorker magazine. Arendt was incarcerated in the notorious French detention camp, Gurs, but was able to escape. In 1941, Arendt and her family obtained special visas through Hiram Bingham, U.S. Vice Consul in Marseilles, France, who helped over 2,500 Jews flee from France as Nazi forces advanced. Finally, Arendt, her husband and her mother immigrated to the United States and settled on the Upper West side of New York City. Controversially she accused former Jewish leaders of passive complicity in the Holocaust and was branded a Nazi sympathizer. The movie explores her private life and is inter-spaced with actual footage of the Eichmann trial. Not an easy movie to watch despite a great performance from Sukowa in the leading role the support cast is rather weak.

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