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“Its climax matches some of the great courtroom scenes in cinema and provides a stirring reminder that the labour of figuring out the world is necessary, difficult and heroic.” — The New York Times
Written and directed by Margarethe von Trotta, New German Cinema’s most venerated female filmmaker, Hannah Arendt is as compelling and polarising as its eponymous protagonist. Arendt, masterfully played by Barbara Sukowa, is sent by The New Yorker to cover the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. The article generates a storm of criticism by the intellectual and Jewish communities, labelling her cold, heartless and a self-hating Jew. Von Trotta’s vision of Arendt offers understanding into the formulation of her ideas — in particular what Arendt termed ‘the banality of evil’ — which later culminated in her seminal thesis of the same name. These ideas are also examined in Claude Lanzmann’s The Last of the Unjust, also screening at JIFF 2013.
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