Tuesday, May 17, 7 p.m.
Vita Activa

Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt

Tuesday, May 17, 7 p.m.
Landmark Theatre
8702 Keystone Crossing, Keystone at the Crossing


Released in 2015, this thought-provoking and spirited documentary looks at the life of noted German-American philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt, who reported in 1961 for The New Yorker on the war crimes trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann.

While observing the legal proceedings, the Holocaust survivor concluded that Eichmann was not a simple monster, but an ordinary man who thoughtlessly buried his conscience through his obedience to the Nazi regime and its ideology. Arendt’s expansion of this idea, presented in the articles for The New Yorker, would create the concept of “the banality of evil” that she thought even sucked in some Jewish leaders of the era into unwittingly participating in the Holocaust. The result was a bitter public controversy in which Arendt was accused of blaming the Holocaust’s victims. The strong-willed intellectual was then forced to defend her daringly innovative ideas about moral complexity in a struggle that exacted a heavy personal cost.

This film was sold out at its premiere at the Munich International Film Festival, sold out at the Jerusalem Film Festival and won the Best Documentary award in the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Read an excerpt from Altogether Elsewhere: Writers on Exile