Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt (2015)

  • JIFF, Documentary
  • 2h 5m

When philosopher and writer Hannah Arendt attended the 1961 trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, it had a profound effect on her view of humanity. Were horrific acts the result of radical intent, or a function of thoughtlessness? She coined the now-famous phrase “banality of evil” in her report, which appeared in her seminal work Eichmann In Jerusalem.

This documentary explores the life of Arendt in a way that’s never been seen before. Her controversial private life, including a love affair with philosopher and Nazi supporter Martin Heidegger, is illuminated here in detail as we visit the people and places that shaped Arendt. This fascinating documentary explores her loves, betrayals, ostracism and influence as one of the sharpest writers of the 20th century.


Ada Ushpiz


English, German, Hebrew, French


Israel, Canada, Germany