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Hannah Arendt

The passion that binds the personal and the political

By Francine Stock  

How to convey on film the ideas of political philosopher Hannah Arendt? This drama concentrates on the early 1960s when Arendt—a Jew who fled Germany in 1933—was commissioned by the New Yorker to cover the trial in Jerusalem of Adolf Eichmann. Attempting to reconcile what she perceived as the shocking mediocrity of the man with his monstrous deeds, she identified the “banality of evil.” Her analytical appraisal of the trial provoked a vitriolic row among intellectuals, many of them Jewish, who accused her of lacking…

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