A fascinating if talky reminiscence of a landmark trial, Hannah Arendt does what a lot of German films do well: It looks the part, it’s very precise, and it’s a little hard to hold. Arendt (Barbara Sukowa) was a writer and scholar of the highest order 50 years ago. She was hired to cover the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem and, as a Jew, came to the conclusion that Eichmann was, more or less, just following orders, as awful as they were. She also criticized the trial and even the basis for it. The conclusion enraged the Jewish community, but Arendt remained unrepentant. Sukowa has worked with director Margarethe von Trotta for three decades, and they know how to build around a strong female character. Hannah Arendt succeeds on that front, but it could use some editing.
Director: Margarethe von Trotta
Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Axel Milberg, Janet McTeer, Julia Jentsch, Ulrich Noethen and Michael Degen