As a former student of Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein, whose expertise regards the Holocaust, the theological implications of the Holocaust, and decades of studying mass murder and genocide, this film was a must see for me.
Fortunately, All Saints Cinema in Tallahassee, Florida, our independent films site, showed the film last weekend and will be again this upcoming weekend (today being Wednesday, September 25th).
The film provided me with a deeper knowledge of Hannah Arendt, the trial, and the aftermath for her professional reputation. Substantial raw footage of the trial was a critical aspect of the film.
Her books include "The Origins of Totalitarianism" (1951). Revised ed.; New York: Schocken, 2004. (Includes all the prefaces and additions from the 1958, 1968, and 1972 editions.); "The Human Condition" (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958); "On Revolution" (New York: Viking, 1963); "Men in Dark Times" (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1968); "On Violence" Harvest Books (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1970). (Also included in Crises of the Republic.); "Life of the Mind", unfinished at her death, Ed. Mary McCarthy, 2 vols. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978). ISBN 0-15-107887-4; "Love and Saint Augustine". [her dissertation] Edited with an Interpretive Essay by Joanna Vecchiarelli Scott and Judith Chelius Scott (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1996/1998).
"In her reporting of the 1961 Adolf Eichmann trial for "The New Yorker", which evolved into "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil" (1963), she coined the phrase "the banality of evil" to describe Eichmann. She raised the question of whether evil is radical or simply a function of thoughtlessness, a tendency of ordinary people to obey orders and conform to mass opinion without a critical evaluation of the consequences of their actions and inaction. She was sharply critical of the way the trial was conducted in Israel. She also was critical of the way that some Jewish leaders, notably M. C. Rumkowski, acted during the Holocaust. This caused a considerable controversy and even animosity toward Arendt in the Jewish community. Her friend Gershom Scholem, a major scholar of Jewish mysticism, broke off relations with her. Arendt was criticized by many Jewish public figures, who charged her with coldness and lack of sympathy for the victims of the Shoah, also known as the Holocaust.
"Due to this lingering criticism, her book has only recently been translated into Hebrew. Arendt ended the book by writing:
'Just as you [Eichmann] supported and carried out a policy of not wanting to share the earth with the Jewish people and the people of a number of other nations -- as though you and your superiors had any right to determine who should and who should not inhabit the world -- we find that no one, that is, no member of the human race, can be expected to want to share the earth with you. This is the reason, and the only reason, you must hang.' "
Thank you to Wikipedia. And I refer the reader to begin learning more about Hannah Arendt through Wikipedia and the rest of the Internet. As well as, of course, the film; her books and articles; and those about her.