“HANNAH ARENDT”–A New Film Report
“HANNAH ARENDT”—A New Film Report
Dear Eminent Visitor,
When Blame Is A Copout!
This was a tough movie to take in on many levels. First, it was very skewed in the way it gave out two messages; and in one sense it seemed to me to put a partial share of blame on the Jews of Europe for what happened to them during the Holocaust.
Did The Rabbis Have Tanks?
Let me explain that a little: Arendt noted– during her stay in Jerusalem at the trial of Adolph Eichmann, back in nineteen sixty-one– that when the Jewish leaders in Europe were confronted with the beginnings of Nazi terror on the Jews, they failed to take any action to oppose them…How many tanks did she think the rabbis there had in the backs of their synagogues that they could roll out and kill all those Nazis with?
Flawed Logic Hurts This Film!
I found her thoughts on this matter terribly out of whack with common sense reason. This film—produced by a German director—Margarethe Von Trotta—could send a signal to some that the Jews were partly responsible for the Holocaust crimes. Her logic made the film quite flawed.
She Smoked Like A Chimney!
And the movie, itself? Barbara Sukowa plays Hannah; and I was appalled with the way she was so addicted to smoking. I mean, give me a break. Even if in real life she was a smoker, I could not see one reason for her habit to be so pronounced in her every move and in every place she breathed in. I really think it was a mask for her lack of acting nuance. Rather than be able to portray her character as befits a competent actress, she would tap out a cigarette and light it up smoothly.
The Hokum She Believed!
I also thought her appraisal of Eichmann as being abysmally “normal” just showed me she was duped by his manner into thinking he was without any mental defects and just acted without feeling at the behest of Heir Hitler. From this line of reasoning she came up with the title of THE BANALITY OF EVIL—the book that was published from all the articles she wrote on Eichmann’s trial. Such evil as Eichmann’s is not the work of men who are menacing ghouls but the work of thoughtless normal menfolk who have simply obeyed the rules of some master— whose commands have become their laws. She began to believe this hokum from looking at Eichmann in his glass cage while he testified. “How could such a man do such crimes?” Don’t we see this almost daily?— heinous crimes committed by men who look harmless?
Both Truth And Acting Fail!
People who must think like Hannah— without use of any other parts of their selves—arrive at truths that just don’t work. Further, acting in this film didn’t work either: The suffering she endured at the trial as well as the hate mail she received once her articles were published in The New Yorker did not get me feeling for her. Nor did other actors as well.
Would I recommend this?
Would I recommend this very flawed film to you? Here’s how I feel about such films: They’re experiences— and whether good or bad they do advance in knowledge our appreciation of the way things ought to be. Like bad parents, one can often learn from them just how not to employ one’s judgment. . “HANNAH ARENDT’S bad judgment might force us to judge evil-doers in smarter ways. I think she showed us the wrong way. As far as a grade—all in all—she gets a FIVE.
(I hope that this film does no harm.)
Happy Movie Going!
Humbler Acts, creator of THE WIZARD’S OUTRAGEOUS SCHEME FOR STOPPING SMOKING, reports one film every week as a relaxation from his speaking and writing on stopping smoking through dream use and Seven Forces. He’s American, English-educated, residing in St. Louis, MO (USA). He can be reached: email@example.com or telephone: 314-574-7681
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