Screen/Society--Rights! Camera! Action!--"Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt"
Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt
(Ada Ushpiz, 2015, 132 min, Israel/Canada, in German, English and Hebrew w/ English subtitles, Color, DVD)
-- Panel discussion to follow with Prof. James Chappel (History) and Prof. Claudia Koonz (History)
-- “A vigorous and thoughtful new documentary… a broad and rich portrait of an intellectual... Vita Activa, while it will surely satisfy and provoke students of 20th century intellectual history, 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.
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 Adolph Eichmann, which she covered for the New Yorker magazine. Her private life was no less controversial thanks to her early love affair with the renowned German philosopher and Nazi supporter Martin Heidegger. This thought provoking and spirited documentary, with its abundance of archival materials, offers an intimate portrait of the whole of Arendt's life, traveling to places where she lived, worked, loved, and was betrayed, as she wrote about the open wounds of modern times. Through her books, which are still widely read and the recent release of Margarethe von Trotta's biopic Hannah Arendt (also a Zeitgeist Films release) there is renewed interest in Arendt throughout the world, especially among young people who find her insights into the nature of evil, totalitarianism, ideologies, and the perils faced by refugees, more relevant than ever.
-- Winner, Best Documentary, Santa Barbara Film Festival
Cost: Free and Open to the Public
Sponsors: The Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, the Program in Arts of the Moving Image (AMI), Humanities Futures, The Human Rights Archive, the Center for Jewish Studies, the Trent Foundation and AMES Presents.