Film Screening Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt (2015), dir. Ada Ushpiz

Vita Activa © Fernsehbüro Vita Activa © Fernsehbüro

Wed, 04/27/2022


Goethe-Institut Washington @ The Liz

Hannah Arendt: Thinking is Dangerous

COVID-19 Admission Policy for Goethe-Institut Washington: as of March 1, 2022, the Goethe-Institut Washington requires that all guests be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Negative tests or exemptions in lieu of vaccine proof will not be accepted. Please present proof of vaccination and valid government-issued photo ID at the door; mask-wearing will be enforced full-time within the building.


"For many years, I have met Germans who declare they are ashamed of being Germans. I have often felt tempted to answer that I am ashamed of being human, that all nations share the onus of evil committed by all others."
-Hannah Arendt

The backlash against Hannah Arendt’s writings on Eichmann in Jerusalem included speculations that Arendt was a Nazi sympathizer. For instance, her early relationship with German philosopher Martin Heidegger, who was himself a Nazi, is still scrutinized by critics today. But Arendt’s complexities as a philosopher – and as a person – cannot be summed up in a few tidy phrases or sentences. Vita Activa takes a look at archival materials and engages with experts to develop a multifaceted portrait of Arendt. From her time as a brilliant young scholar at the University of Marburg, to fleeing Germany across the Ore Mountains in 1933, to becoming a New Yorker and public intellectual, this documentary presents an empathetic glimpse into a fascinating life.
RSVP The film will be introduced by Brooklyn-based Arendt scholar and author Samantha Rose Hill, who is the moderator of podcast Hannah Arendt: Between WorldsBetween Worlds is a coproduction of the Goethe-Institut and the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. The podcast is part of Thinking is Dangerous, a project for thinking with Arendt about our world today.

Samantha Rose Hill is the author of Hannah Arendt (Reaktion, 2021) and Hannah Arendt’s Poems (Liveright, 2022). She is associate faculty at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research and the University of the Underground. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Aeon, LitHub, OpenDemocracy, Public Seminar, Contemporary Political Theory, and Theory and Event.