"The greatest evil perpetrated is the evil committed by nobodies, that is, by human beings who refuse to be persons." - Hannah Arendt
Margarethe von Trotta’s work serves as a corrective to the phallocentric tendencies of history. From the twelfth-century mystic Hildegaard von Bingen (in her last film, Vision) to Marxist Rosa Luxemburg, von Trotta has always been fascinated by powerful, inspiring and complex women. Hannah Arendt is no exception.
A refugee from Nazi Germany, Arendt was a writer, philosopher and academic, the author of "The Origins of Totalitarianism." In 1961, she traveled to Jerusalem to cover the trail of Adolf Eichmann - one of the architects of the "Final Solution" - for the New Yorker, and appalled by this man’s pathetic attempts to exonerate his actions, she coined one of the most resonant and controversial concepts of the twentieth century: "the banality of evil".
Superbly played von Trotta’s longtime collaborator, Barbara Sukowa (and with Janet McTeer as her friend, the novelist Mary McCarthy) Arendt emerges as a bold, uncompromising, and perhaps surprisingly charismatic figure.
Margarethe von Trotta was born in Berlin. Her features include The Second Awakening of Christa Klages (77), Sisters, or The Balance of Happiness (79), Marianne and Julianne (81), Rosa Luxemburg (86), The Promise (94), Rosenstrasse (03), Vision (09) and Hannah Arendt (12).
"Trotta has made an extremely vivid cinematic essay, thrilling in its every minute, deeply moving in its seriousness and suitably unsettling." Elke Schmitter, Der Spiegel
"A thrilling lesson in courage." Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter
"The best movie this critic has ever seen about the life and times of a writer." Brandon Harris, Filmmaker