Hannah Arendt pre-screening talk

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Our screening of acclaimed biopic Hannah Arendt on Wednesday 22 January will be accompanied by a pre-film talk from Dr Larissa Allwork, Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Northampton. 

Directed by Margarethe von Trotta (Rosa Luxemburg, Rosenstrasse), Hannah Arendt stars Barbara Sukowa as the German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist. Opening with the capture of leading Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann by Mossad agents, the film focuses on Arendt’s coverage of the Eichmann trial for the New Yorker, during the course of which she coined the phrase ‘the banality of evil’, causing huge controversy and costing her several close friendships. 

Arendt’s friendship with witty novelist Mary McCarthy (Janet McTeer) lends the story a grounding realism, with regular von Trotta collaborator Sukowa (Berlin Alexanderplatz) perfectly reflecting Arendt’s steely intellect, leavened by her human frailties. Her contentious pre-war relationship with philosopher and Nazi party member Martin Heidegger is portrayed in flashback. Archive footage adds to the sense of authenticity, and the New York Times hailed the film’s restaging of the trial as, ‘some of the greatest courtroom scenes in cinema’, with the result ‘a stirring reminder that the labour of figuring out the world is necessary, difficult and sometimes genuinely heroic.’ 

Dr Allwork is a specialist in collective memory with a specific focus on the Holocaust and traumatic histories. A section in her forthcoming book concentrates on Hannah Arendt, her classic text The Origins of Totalitarianism, and the Trial. She will give a 15 minute talk, putting the film in context and discussing some of the issues it raises. 

Dr Allwork’s talk begin at 5.50pm, with Hannah Arendt screened at 6.15pm. Admission to the talk is free with a ticket for the film.

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