Focusing largely on the famous Jewish philosopher’s coverage of Nazi criminal Eichmann’s 1961 trial in Jerusalem, von Trotta serves up another strong-minded woman. Sukowa is great as Arendt: a cool and deliberate mind dedicated to non-partisan assessment of what became known as “the banality of evil”. However, like Arendt, the film is prone to dispassion. Throwback scenes of her affair with Heidegger and a spirited performance from McTeer as Mary McCarthy insert emotion, but the film is essentially, like its subject, a model of academic rigour.
Hannah Arendt | Directed by Margarethe von Trotta (Germany, Luxemburg, France 2012) with Barbara Sukowa, Axel Milberg, Janet McTeer. Starts January 10