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Hannah Arendt [Blu-ray] (2013)

Barbara Sukowa , Janet McTeer , Margarethe von Trotta  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

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Hannah Arendt [Blu-ray] + Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (Penguin Classics)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Barbara Sukowa, Janet McTeer
  • Directors: Margarethe von Trotta
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English, German
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • DVD Release Date: November 19, 2013
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00EPA92LO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,094 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

The sublime Barbara Sukowa reteams with Margarethe von Trotta (Vision, Rosa Luxemburg) for her brilliant biopic of influential German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt. Arendt s reporting on the 1961 trial of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann in The New Yorker controversial for her portrayal of Eichmann and the Jewish councils introduced her now-famous concept of the banality of evil. Using archival footage of the trial and weaving a narrative that spans three continents, von Trotta beautifully turns the often-invisible passion for thought into immersive, dramatic cinema. Hannah Arendt co-stars Klaus Pohl as philosopher Martin Heidegger, Nicolas Woodeson as New Yorker editor William Shawn, and two-time Oscar Nominee Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs) as novelist Mary McCarthy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible: Enjoyed every minute October 19, 2013
If you are not interested in philosophy or in grand questions such as, how can humans commit almost unimaginable acts of inhumanity? then you should not bother with this film. You very well might be, as one reviewer wrote, "bored to death." But if questions of this magnitude interest you, then there might not be another author who explores them with more intensity of focus than Hannah Arendt. This film merely skims the surface of her exceedingly complex and often misunderstood philosophical interpretation of Eichmann's crimes. The subject of this film is the social controversy surrounding her initial publications of her theory about Eichmann and the Holocaust. However, the ambition of the film must also be to bring attention to Arendt, one of the most talented philosophers of the twentieth century, and who, like most women of genius, is usually given short shrift in favor of less talented male counterparts. The acting is so perfect that I remained haunted by the characters. There are many other strengths as well: the script, beautifully folding in Arendt's relationships, including her friendship with Mary McCarthy; the sets of her apartment and classroom; the footage of Eichmann. But I think one of the final touches of insight was to have no real ending to the film thereby reminding the audience that the inquiry into the large questions tackled by Arendt will always remain open and unfinished.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Arendt vs. "the banality of evil" August 20, 2013
"Hannah Arendt" (2012 release from Germany; 109 min.) is NOT a biopic of the German "political theorist" Hannah Arendt. Instead, it brings us the story surrounding Hannah Arendt (played by Barbara Sukowa) in 1961 when she is hired by the New Yorker Magazine to cover the trial in Jerusalem of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann, who was famously abducted by the Israeli secret police in Buenos Aires to stand trial for his crimes/atrocities against the Jews. Arendt soon creates a controversy within her circle of friends, and later, when her articles are published, within the Jewish community at large, with her controversial, yet misunderstood, views on the trial. It was in those articles that Arendt coined the now famous term "the banality of evil".

Several comments: this is another historical drama, say along the lines of the recent "Emperor" movie. But there are differences. First, there is the amazing performance of Barbara Sukowa in the title role. She is simply outstanding. Second, this is directed by the legendary German director Margarethe von Trotta, now in her 70s if you can believe is. (Sukowa and von Trotta have teamed up before.) Third, the movie makes ample use of historical footage of the actual trial of Eichmann, and it is fascinating stuff to watch. Fourth, while there are a number of flashbacks to Arendt's earlier days as a philosophy student and her involvement with professor/philosopher Martin Heidegger (who eventually joined the Nazi party), there remain much more to be said/shown about Arendt (which of course is not the scope of this movie). Fifth, this being set in 1961, people are smoking cigarettes non-stop in virtually every scene of the movie, it is just beyond belief.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Movie about Hannah Arendt August 31, 2013
Making a film about a philosopher presents challenges. Philosophers and the life of reflection are internalized and often require patience and discipline to understand. Movies for a wide audience tend to depend on action. Directed by Margarethe von Trotta and starring Barbara Sukowa in the title role, "Hannah Arendt" has the famous German-Jewish émigré philosopher as its subject. If understandably slow in places, "Hannah Arendt" is worthwhile. The movie played in an independent theater in Washington, D.C. to appreciative audiences. It is valuable that it will soon available and accessible on DVD, and that the film is now available for review and discussion here on Amazon. The movie is in part in English and in part in German, with subtitles.

Hannah Arendt (1906 -- 1975) studied philosophy in Germany and wrote her dissertation (on St. Augustine) under Karl Jaspers. She became an American citizen in 1950, and taught and wrote widely. In 1961, Arendt covered the trial of Adolph Eichmann in Jerusalem and wrote what became her most famous book, "Eichmann in Jerusalem" Eichmann in Jerusalem (Penguin Classics) which was and remains highly controversial. The book became known for the term "banality of evil" which Arendt seemed to use to characterize Eichmann's activities.

The movie "Hannah Arendt" focuses upon Arendt's coverage of the Eichmann trial and the controversy her book engendered. Much of the book is set in the rarefied world of the New York City intellectual as Arendt is shown with her dear friend Mary McCarthy (Janet McTeer), her beloved but philandering husband Heinrich (Axel Milberg), and others.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
As a former student of Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein, whose expertise regards the Holocaust, the theological implications of the Holocaust, and decades of studying mass murder and genocide, this film was a must see for me.

Fortunately, All Saints Cinema in Tallahassee, Florida, our independent films site, showed the film last weekend and will be again this upcoming weekend (today being Wednesday, September 25th).

The film provided me with a deeper knowledge of Hannah Arendt, the trial, and the aftermath for her professional reputation. Substantial raw footage of the trial was a critical aspect of the film.

Her books include "The Origins of Totalitarianism" (1951). Revised ed.; New York: Schocken, 2004. (Includes all the prefaces and additions from the 1958, 1968, and 1972 editions.); "The Human Condition" (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958); "On Revolution" (New York: Viking, 1963); "Men in Dark Times" (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1968); "On Violence" Harvest Books (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1970). (Also included in Crises of the Republic.); "Life of the Mind", unfinished at her death, Ed. Mary McCarthy, 2 vols. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978). ISBN 0-15-107887-4; "Love and Saint Augustine". [her dissertation] Edited with an Interpretive Essay by Joanna Vecchiarelli Scott and Judith Chelius Scott (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1996/1998).

"In her reporting of the 1961 Adolf Eichmann trial for "The New Yorker", which evolved into "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil" (1963), she coined the phrase "the banality of evil" to describe Eichmann.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ... Sukowa brings the legendary philosopher/historian fully alive in...
Barbara Sukowa brings the legendary philosopher/historian fully alive in this excellent film that unfolds during her coverage for the New Yorker of the Adolf Eichmann trial in... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joan F. Ellis
5.0 out of 5 stars She was right.
A story that needed to be told.
Published 1 month ago by BRYAND SPENCER
4.0 out of 5 stars It is hard to make a film about an intellectual ...
It is hard to make a film about an intellectual dispute and appeal to a mass audience. Hannah Arendt was someone I greatly admired and I think this film did justice to her point... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Eve Galewitz
5.0 out of 5 stars vry worth seeing
historical footage of Eichman though I'd seen it before, was great to see again, a great reminder exactly of Arendt's thesis... Read more
Published 2 months ago by C. Roderick
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting subject
The acting was stiff; the director seemed a bit too close to the characters, it didn't come together for me.
Published 2 months ago by Margaret Wesseling
4.0 out of 5 stars If you stay silent in the presence if evil
You are as guilty as the perpetrator. Hannah is truly a hero for her bravery - great and inspiring true story.
Published 2 months ago by JoJo
5.0 out of 5 stars A film of exceptional depth and insight...
I would recommend this film to anyone capable of reasonably complex analytic evaluation. The difficulties of addressing a film about an internal process (thinking) in a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Frank Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
I love movies that explore topics not treated by popular media or major motion picture companies. Difficult to make a movie about an intellectual, but the fact that much of the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mark Twain
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Thought-Provoking
This was an enjoyable film, although I think it could have been shorter and still covered necessary plot points. At times, the acting and writing were not so hot. Read more
Published 4 months ago by SanDiegoJesse
5.0 out of 5 stars Arendt's thinking is just as important in the 21st century
This is a wonderful film about an important woman of the 20th century. Although a shy person, she saw her duty to be a public intellectual; thinking, writing and lecturing from a... Read more
Published 4 months ago by MS CHRISTINE HEALY
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