Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 at 1:00 PM
In 1961, the noted German-American philosopher Hanna Arendt reported on the trial of the notorious Nazi war-criminal Adolf Eichmann. While observing the legal proceedings, Arendt concluded that Eichmann was not a simple monster, but an ordinary man who thoughtlessly buried his conscience in blind obedience to the Nazi Regime and its ideology. Arendt’s expansion of this idea through her resulting New Yorker articles would create the concept of the “Banality of Evil”, where she argued that the indifference towards Jewish suffering and complicity with the Nazi regime even extended to Jewish leaders of the era, who unwittingly participated in the Holocaust. The result was a bitter public controversy in which Arendt was accused of blaming the Holocaust’s victims. This film explores how the strong-willed intellectual was forced to defend her daringly innovative ideas about moral complexity in a struggle that exacted a heavy personal cost. Released in 2012, 113 minutes.
Ship of Fools
Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 at 1:00 PM
1933: An ocean liner belonging to a second-rate German company is making a twenty-six day voyage from Veracruz, Mexico to Bremerhaven, Germany. Along the way it will stop in Cuba to pick up a large group of Spanish farm laborers and La Condesa, a Spanish countess. It will stop in Tenerife, where the farm workers will disembark and where La Condesa will be sent to a German-run prison for her "traitorous" activities in Cuba. La Condesa falls in love with the ship's doctor, Willi Schumann, who has a serious heart ailment and who thought he could find some meaning to his life through this job. Among the other motley crew of passengers are Mary Treadwell, a middle-aged American divorcée trying to recapture her youth; Tenny, a middle-aged American ex-baseball player who laments never having made it big in the game; David and Jenny, a young American couple who say they are in love but who have to overcome their fundamental differences in social standing; Rieber, a middle-aged German Nazi sympathizer traveling with a young woman companion and who lords his beliefs over the other German passengers, who in turn are either so self-absorbed with their own lives and/or just don't care to notice what is happening in Germany with the Nazis; and Lowenthal and Glocken, a German Jew and a German dwarf respectively, who are "paired" as the outsiders among those in first class. Released in 1965, 149 minutes
The Devil's Arithmetic
Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 at 1:00 PM
Based on the popular novel by Jane Yolen, a typical American teenager gets transported back in time and experiences firsthand the horrors of the Holocaust and discovers the meaning of her family’s heritage.
This is another telling of the Holocaust, but this time from the perspective of a modern teenage girl who only grudgingly accepts the Jewish traditions. But when she is asked to “open the front door” as part of the Passover Seder, she finds herself, not unlike Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz entering a strange world, to have entered the 1940s. Here she discovers that she has stepped into the life of a prisoner in one of the German death camps where she experiences all of its horrors firsthand, and it completely changes her perspective on life by making her aware of the importance of knowing the past and embracing her heritage. Released in 1999, 95 minutes.
Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 at 1:00 PM
Nazi Germany, 1942. The Russian Front is bogged down in snow and mud, and the Americans have entered the war. For the first time, defeat is a possibility. In light of this reality, fifteen high-ranking members from all areas of the Nazi government – soldiers, economists, administrators and lawyers – are brought together by order of the Fuhrer in a luxurious mansion in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee. No records of their meeting will be kept, and they will not reveal the substance of their discussion to the outside world. The issue before them is to determine a solution – a final solution – to the Jewish program. The solution determined will lead to one of the most horrific and shameful episodes in human history.
This is the story of the top-secret Nazi meeting to debate the merits of Hitler’s ‘Final Solution,’ the extermination of the entire Jewish population of Europe. Kenneth Branagh and Stanley Tucci star in this gripping drama. Released in 2001, 96 minutes.