In this memoir of the origins and making of her film Hannah Arendt, Margarethe von Trotta places it in the context of her two earlier film biographies of prominent women: Rosa Luxemburg (1986) and Vision (original title: Vision—Aus dem Leben der Hildegard von Bingen, 2009). The three films share the challenge of blending public and personal lives, intellectual and emotional personae. The making of Rosa Luxemburg involved problematic research in the archives of the German Democratic Republic. The twelfth-century context of Hildegard’s life proposed other challenges, especially with regard to the relative lack of a visual record of the period. All three films profited from troves of personal letters. Von Trotta describes her slow “falling in love” with Arendt, a process abetted by the discovery of Arendt’s vulnerability. The decision to focus on the years of the Eichmann trial and controversy aided the juxtaposition of Arendt’s vulnerability with her public voice.
My Approach to Biography: Rosa Luxemburg, Hildegard von Bingen, Hannah Arendt
margarethe von trotta was born in Berlin and lives in Paris and Munich. She is an award-winning director who played a central role in the New German Cinema movement. She has won many national and international prizes for her films and is most known for Marianne and Juliane (1981), Rosa Luxemburg (1986), The Promise (1995), Rosenstrasse, (2003), Vision—From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen (2009), and Hannah Arendt (2012).
Margarethe von Trotta; My Approach to Biography: Rosa Luxemburg, Hildegard von Bingen, Hannah Arendt. differences 1 September 2015; 26 (2): 70–85. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10407391-3145973
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