An account of Arendt’s controversial conclusions on the Adolf Eichmann trial, which caused outrage when published in The New Yorker in the 1960s. The film uses original footage from the 1961 Eichmann trial and the harrowing testimony of survivors. Arendt’s expression ‘the banality of evil’ refers to her realisation that Eichmann was not a monster but a pathetic figure. For her, true evil resided in the insidious mediocrity of a nation obediently implementing the Holocaust. For many Jews this attitude was too sophisticated, and her remarks on perceived Jewish collaboration in the Warsaw ghetto were resented.


Margarethe von Trotta

Germany/Luxemburg/France 2012 113m