German Cinema 101 – Film and Discussion with Hester Baer, Associate Professor and Head of Germanic Studies at the University of Maryland
Germany/Luxembourg/France/Israel, 2012, 113 min., Director
: Margarethe von Trotta, Screenplay
: Pamela Katz, Margarethe von Trotta, Cast
: Barbara Sukowa, Axel Milberg, Production
: Heimatfilm, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Westdeutscher Rundfunk
Hannah Arendt is assigned to cover the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. She anticipates a confrontation with a monster. Instead, however, she encounters an unremarkable and banal bureaucrat. Hannah Arendt, a biographical film, is a thoughtful portrait of a courageous and determined woman who challenges the public’s perception of evil. Arendt (1906-1975) was a philosopher and journalist who reported on the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem between 1960 and 1964. A dynamically-narrated portrait of one of the 20th century’s most exceptional intellectuals, the film also offers a striking portrayal of the New York milieu of German-Jewish emigrants at the beginning of the 1960s.
Margarethe von Trotta
began her film career after finishing acting school, appearing on the stage in Stuttgart, Dinkelsbühl, and Frankfurt. Starting in 1967, she appeared in many New German Cinema films, including those of Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Volker Schlöndorff, with whom she also wrote multiple films. Her first independent work as a director was The Second Awakening of Christa Klages
(1978). A number of controversial and much-discussed films followed, such as Marianne and Julianne
(1981), Rosa Luxemburg
(1986), and The Promise
(1995), as well as the multi-episode television adaptation of Uwe Johnson’s Anniversaries
(2000). Many of von Trotta’s films are concerned with reflecting on and critically examining both the individual and socio-political past. Alongside her many films, Margarethe von Trotta regularly directs plays on numerous European stages.
This event is part of the German Cinema 101