In April 1961 the German-Jewish political philosopher Hannah Arendt left her New York exile for Jerusalem to report on the Adolf Eichmann trial for The New Yorker. She is determined to a direct confrontation with those people whose behavior under the Nazi regime she wants to understand. When Arendt's articles appear they unleash a worldwide wave of out rage. She sees Eichmann not as the monster world opinion does, but recognizes him as a pen-pushing killer who wanted to carry out his task to the best of his ability and feels no guilt because he was merely following orders.
For her, Eichmann was the embodiment of the "banality of evil", a phrase that resounds to this very day. "The trouble with Eichmann," Arendt wrote, "was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together."
Arendt's courageous perception has international consequences. She is despised, vilified, loses lifelong friends. She maintains, however, her consistent posture, seeking to understand, even if that means "thinking till it hurts."
Source: German films Service & Marketing GmbH