Hannah Arendt på vita duken går förstås inte att jämföra med den verkliga, levande Hannah Arendt. Ändå måste jag säga att det var en storartad film jag fick se, den som Margarethe von Trotta gjort, med Barbara Sukowa i titelrollen.
Det är inte så mycket förintelsen och rättegången mot Eichmann som berör i filmen, utan mer det faktum att den sätter pöbelreaktionen mot hennes reportage från Jerusalem - och den blivande boken - "Den banala ondskan" i centrum. Här möter vi en intellektuell elit som beter sig just som en rännstenspöbel. Det är verkligen obehagligt.
Men pöbeln finns ju överallt. Också i de finaste finrum. Den kännetecknas av en vägran att förstå andra tankar och resonemang än de redan etablerade. Därför anklagade både europeiska och amerikanska judar Arendt för att "sakna kärlek till det egna folket" och för att "bli vän med Eichmann" och hon kallades rentav för Hannah Eichmann. Här kan man läsa lite om förarbetet med filmen och regissörens tankar:
"Did your image of Hannah Arendt before, during and after the film change in any way for you? Who is she now for you personally, now that the film is finished?
She is now Barbara. Hannah Arendt and Barbara Sukowa have now merged into one for me, and that is not projection. Suddenly, someone out of flesh and blood is standing in front of me, with her own voice, but one that is not identical to Hannah Arendt. Of course, it is just an approximation, and yet it is her – her spirit, her intellect, the way she moves and how she speaks. In that way it is a fusion of sorts, in a similar vein to what happened in Rosa Luxemburg. Why do you make a film like this? Not just to get lost in the past, but to find something in the past that will challenge people now, that will be exciting now, that will be relevant today. It’s not a documentary. I can choose, so I choose from things that are exemplary for me, or contradictory, or moving. Of course, to an extent, I want to bring that person out of the past and into the present. As a result, like with Rosa Luxemburg, I look for things that interest me. There will always be a bit of strangeness, but when someone as good as Barbara Sukowa takes the role, you can be virtually certain that she will manage to create a spirited and lively character.
In that regard, Hannah Arendt is certainly in a league with other women you have portrayed…
Just like Rosa Luxemburg was important at the beginning of the 20th century, Hannah Arendt became important at the end of the same century. Despite dying in 1975, her true significance became increasingly clear as the century advanced. Rosa was a woman who fought for a more just society at the beginning of the century, and she paid for that with her life. Before that, because of 1968, I had portrayed Gudrun Ensslin and her sister in 1981 in Die bleierne Zeit (Marianne und Juliane), even if it wasn’t under their own names. Those were women who did things people didn’t expect of them. They wanted to change the world, create more equality. Gudrun Ensslin fought and lost her life as well. Within this political context it is always my own personal interest in these people that influences the project. Hannah Arendt is a woman who fits into my personal mold of historically important women that I have portrayed in my films. “I want to understand,” was one of her guiding principles. I feel that applies to myself and my films as well."