Hannah Arendt 2012 movie review.
In one sentence, it is a must watch the movie for those who have ability to rise above the daily routine of self-gratification and need to look upon humanity as a whole. It portrays views of philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt, who reported for The New Yorker on the war crimes trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann.
It was a long movie of one and half hour but like a hiker who set out to see the glacier, I watched it in one go. Even though the subject of movie was holocaust, mercifully, graphical violence was spared. If a viewer is a smoker, s/he must set down to watch the movie with a pack-full, for almost all characters are smoking. So much that it was felt that my room was filled with smoke but it was screen. Since the official and other reviews did not justify, I am constrained to fold my sleeves and add these more words on ever-expanding canvas of the internet-world.
The movie highlights two aspects of second world war as well as the political world by raising these two questions:
- What was fundamentally wrong with evil that was Nazism?
- What is humanity?
Movies have a tendency to obtuse facts under the momentum of script, and obscure issues under the glamour of actors. Surprisingly this movie does the opposite and it contains no rhetoric. There is a speech but the central character (Barbara Sukowa) saw to it that it appears as an attempt to communicate and not a rhetoric.
The movie, through persecution (not prosecution) of a Nazi, depicts the evil that is pure. How two enemies start to resemble and act alike. Above all the purest evil of all: ‘ideologies‘. The ideologies which divide humanity in the name of nationalism, religion, race culture or language etc.
The fact is that this century, as was last, is faced by this pure evil which if not checked, may prove to be the last. (Remember nukes?) An evil that has enveloped all Nations and each individual. We are incapable of thinking as human any more except in mundane matters like saving a stray animal or charity to a stray poor.
The movie couldn’t have been more on time if not late.
© Sandeep Bhalla