Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt

  • Directed by Ada Ushpiz
  • Canada/Israel, 2016, 125 mins.

The German-Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt caused an uproar in the 1960s by coining the subversive concept of the “Banality of Evil” when referring to the trial of Holocaust organizer Adolph Eichmann, which she covered for the New Yorker magazine. Her private life was no less controversial thanks to an early love affair with renowned German philosopher and Nazi supporter Martin Heidegger. Ushpiz’s thought-provoking film offers an intimate portrait exploring the whole of Arendt’s life, traveling to places where she lived, worked, loved, and was betrayed; where she wrote about the open wounds of modern times and the nature of evil, totalitarianism, ideologies, and the perils faced by refugees. “While it will surely satisfy and provoke students of 20th century intellectual history, it feels more urgent than most documentaries of its kind… (and) includes some especially chilling implications for the current state of American politics.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times. (English, German, Hebrew, French with English Subtitles)

Genres: Documentary