Hannah Arendt (2012)
Starring: Barbara Sukowa, Janet McTeer, Julia Jentsch
Plot: After fleeing Nazi Germany for the United States, a Jewish German philosopher accepts an assignment to cover the trial of infamous war criminal.
My Review and Thoughts:
A stunning drama. Wonderful foreign film that's graced with an amazing cast of actors. This has an amazing story line and directed in a wonderful flawless way for the viewer. This is a touchy subject about the war trials for Nazis that destroyed and killed millions of innocent people. Your main character Hannah returns to Germany to cover the trial for the New Yorker magazine. Hannah is compelled to do so, she wants to face the horrors that she ran from and now the emotional drama and turmoil of the past seep into the present.
Based on the true story of the real-life philosopher Hannah Arendt. She was considered one of the greatest political theorist ever to exist. She did not like the term philosopher, she called herself a political theorist. Her subjects always consisted of political power, totalitarianism, and democracy.
The movie focuses on a part in her life during the trial of war criminal, Nazi monster Adolf Eichmann.
I think what's interesting about Hannah as a persona in history is she seemed to be fascinated with Eichmann or at least the idea of evil. In all reality the human condition. She seemed to be enthralled with the subject of World War II and the idea of Nazis'. She was a strong-willed woman that spoke her mind and expressed her beliefs. The book that came from her experience in following the Eichmann trial ended up during the time being controversial, for they believed Hannah was defending him.
The book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil came out in 1963. It started as a report for The New Yorker but it was more than just a report. Soon she found herself in the limelight and being accused of being a Nazi defender and accused of stating that Eichmann did not do it out of evil or anti-Semitism or any other reality other than following his job. His defense was I basically followed orders, which was the basic excuse for Nazis. Arendt was basically accused of accusing the victims.
I'm not here to defend the book or the whole concept of the history and makeup of World War II and the Nazis. I'm here to talk about the movie and talk about this extraordinary woman that was able to capture her thoughts or beliefs and create a whole world and persona around her philosophy or as she puts it political theorist.
Hannah was one to totally incapacitate herself inside what she was writing about. She became the very words that she expressed on paper and it wasn't just a wham Bam thank you ma'am type of stories she wrote. She created and she became and she expressed the very depths and the very philosophy of what it was all about.
She coined the term "banality of evil" when referring to Eichmann. She stated he was not a fanatic or a psychopath. He just was stupid and instead of thinking, he was motivated by his promotion to further his career and it wasn't about ideology. We as a society have a way of saying that their monsters, their evil but in reality those monsters and those evil ones that we refer to are nothing more than man, nothing more than a human being. She stated in so many words that if people wouldn't have simply given in and if they would have stood up there would be less death. The whole statement book article was blown out of proportion and as the old saying says everybody has an opinion. I think what happened with Hannah was wrong because she was clearly speaking her own mind and her own beliefs and her own right to free speech. When we start to ban articles and ban books we are no better than the Nazis mentality themselves.
World War II is a touchy subject and ever since World War II's end and even to the present day, people that speak out against certain things or bring up certain ideas, for a thought provoking discussion involving Nazism and the Jewish nation or speaking out against anything of the Jewish nation ends up causing a lot of controversy and a lot of character assassination. A blacklisting if you will. I for one find World War II to be one of the most pivotal moments in history. I feel the real truth and reality of the horrible disturbing Holocaust and how one nation, one single man almost controlled the whole world. I find that utterly fascinating, disturbing and it makes me sick to my stomach to think of how many people died for an ideology, or as Hannah put it to simply give in and go along with it.
I have to focus on the amazing talent of Barbara Sukowa. She owns and captures perfection in the part of Hannah. She became the very persona of her. She lived the role to a perfect filmed reality. Barbara is a beautiful and stunning actress that gives her all to the passion of film performances. She came into acting working under the amazing one of a kind director and brilliant film maker Rainer Werner Fassbinder. She was cast in his masterpiece mini-series 1980's Berlin Alexanderplatz. She is so gifted at anything she does and her role as Hannah is almost breathtaking at the passion she gives to this part.
This is also directed by a brilliant passionate film maker, the stunning Margarethe von Trotta. She is also an actor and worked also with the amazing Rainer Werner Fassbinder. She creates this movie with a natural touch of reality. It flows perfect and creates a true atmosphere of historical setup and one woman's struggle and passion to express herself.
This is a touchy subject. Touchy biography, but most of all I think it's relevant because it can cause questions. A great discussion movie on the real reality of what Hannah was saying. The only downfall I had with the movie is it was like the viewer had to know what part of history this was related to. I had never even heard of who Hannah was until this movie. The movie would've benefited on more of an introduction to who Hannah was and what she was about. With that said, that does not make this film bad. This movie is still a very thought-provoking film that should be seen.
This is an amazing movie in the historical reality of a biography of a woman. A stunning portrait of history and of a touchy subject. The movie captures everything that needs to be told, that needs to be expressed through Hannah's life. I enjoyed this movie for its reality based setting. It made you feel as if it was really happening, in the now.