Monday, November 28, 2011

A wretched, humble and miserable human being

Margarethe von Trotta, a German film director and a member of the New German Cinema movement, arrives in Petach-Tiqva, Israel, to make a movie. I found the article interesting on two accounts: Petach-Tiqva is the town where I was born and raised, and the movie is about Hannah Arendt's sojourn in Israel during the Eichmann trial. I may translate the article later. For now I'd just like to leave you with this quote:

הסרט מתאר את התקופה שבה ארנדט מגיעה לכאן, רואה את אייכמן בבית המשפט, ומתקשה להבין מה למעשה היא רואה מולה. כי בתחילה היא רואה לנגד עיניה מפלצת, ולאחר מכן היא רואה שניצב מולה אדם מסכן, צנוע ואומלל", מספרת פון טרוטה. "בסופו של דבר היא מחליטה שאייכמן עשה דברים מפלצתיים, אבל לא היה מפלצת בעצמו
"The film describes Arendt as she arrives [in Jerusalem], sees Eichmann in court, and finds it difficult to understand what it is she is looking at. At first she sees a monster but later realizes that what she is looking at is a wretched, humble miserable human being," says Von Trotta, "Eventually she concludes that Eichmann committed monstrous atrocities but he, himself, was not a monster".

And this is, I suppose, Margarethe von Trotta's attempt to explain Arendt's meaning of her famous phrase: "Banality of evil".


At 4:59 PM EST, Anonymous Bella Center said...

"A wretched, humble and miserable human being". Take away the humble and you get Hannah Arendt:


Post a Comment

<< Home