Disobedience (2017)

Director: Sebastián Lelio
Writer: Sebastián Lelio, Rebecca Lenkiewicz
Based on: Naomi Alderman‘s novel
Cast: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, Alessandro Nivola, Anton Lesser, Allan Corduner, Nicholas Woodeson, David Fleeshman, Bernice Stegers
Seen on: 15.5.2020

Content Note: (critical treatment of) homomisia

Ronit (Rachel Weisz) left the Orthodox Jewish community where she grew up behind. But when her father (Anton Lesser) dies, she returns for the funeral. Reconnecting with her best friends Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), her father’s closest student, and Esti (Rachel McAdams), she learns that the two got married. This further complicates her return – because she left all those years ago because she and Esti were in love. And maybe they still are.

Disobedience is a film that finds its strength in the quiet moments and in the lead performances. But it’s also a film that left me with a sense of unease regarding its protrayal of both queerness and of the Orthodox Jewish community.

The film poster showing Esti (Rachel McAdams) and Ronit (Rachel Weisz) kissing.
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Hannah Arendt (2012)

Hannah Arendt
Director: Margarethe von Trotta
Writer: Pam Katz, Margarethe von Trotta
Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Axel Milberg, Janet McTeer, Julia Jentsch, Ulrich Noethen, Michael Degen, Nicholas Woodeson, Victoria Trauttmannsdorff, Klaus Pohl

Hannah Arendt (Barbara Sukowa) is a successful political theorist, writer and professor. She used to be a student of Heidegger (Klaus Pohl), but had to leave Germany during WW2 and fled to the USA. When she hears of the abduction/arrest of nazi Adolf Eichmann by Israel, she decides to go there to cover the trial. But once there, she is astonished by how utterly normal, and not evil, Eichmann seems to be. This leads to her writing Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. But the notion that nazis might not be the complete monsters doesn’t bring her any friends, and in fact makes her lose some.

I’ve been meaning to read about Hannah Arendt/her work for a while, but I didn’t get around to it yet. So when I heard about the movie, I was very happy at the chance to at least get some information into me that way. And as a first primer, the movie is really excellent.


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