I Hate it when my Heroes/Heroines Become Fodder for Hipsters

eu.startpage.com_2016-09-17_15-06-51.pngWhy Hannah Arendt Matters in 2016 – [Katie Kilkenny/psmag.com] – While one can imagine that Arendt, author of The Origins of Totalitarianism, would have quite a bit to say about Donald Trump 2016 and Guantánamo Bay, the documentary presents Arendt’s ideas in historical context. Layering excerpts from Arendt’s writings and interviews with her friends and critics over documentary footage from Nazi Germany, Vita Activa evinces a strong sense of restraint: If viewers find some similarities between the images of fervent Nazi nationalism and the postures we see at Trump rallies, that’s their prerogative. Ushpiz, whose guiding hand can be glimpsed only in editing, seems to be challenging her audience to do a bit of one of Arendt’s favorite activities: critical, individual thinking. Still, we wondered: What contemporary events inspired Ushpiz to make her film in the first place? And what surprised her during her research and production process? In an interview with Pacific Standard, the Israeli director talked to us about how Arendt’s most famous and misunderstood concept, “the banality of evil,” might be operating in the world today, and why Arendt’s body of work has inspired Ushpiz to support the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We started the interview over the telephone an hour before Usphiz’s flight from the United States to Amsterdam and finished it over email.*

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