The German-Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt left her indelible imprint on 20th-century thought by coining the concept of the ‘banality of evil’ when reporting on the 1963 trial of Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann. Directed by Israeli documentarian Ada Ushpiz, who has degrees in philosophy and history, this smart, spirited documentary illuminates that often abused idea. Ushpiz also draws a larger picture of Arendt’s often conflicted engagement with the defining phenomena of her era. Richly illustrated with rarely-seen historical footage, Vita Activa offers an intimate portrait of Arendt’s life and work – both deeply informed by the aftermath of World War I, the rise of Nazi Germany and its systematic elimination of European Jews. There are interviews with old friends and academic experts and extensive use of filmed interviews Arendt herself gave, as well as effective readings of excerpts from her essays and letters by actress Alison Darcy.
Be the first to know about live events in Auckland!