The Specialist

  • Eyal Sivan
  • France
  • 1998
  • 128 min
  • Retrospective: Eyal Sivan
This historical document is a two-hour selection from the 350 hours of archive footage that detail Israel's 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann, the man who coordinated the transport of millions of Jews to death camps during World War II. A great deal has been written about this trial, but it remains astonishing to hear this former top Nazi officer and "bureaucrat from hell" declaring that he was only carrying out orders, that he was not emotionally involved in what he was doing, and that he considered himself an idealist with regard to the impeccable completion of his task. For this last reason, he got the nickname "the specialist." The documentary consists entirely of restored video recordings of the trial, in which Eichmann reacts to questions from the public prosecutor as well as to witness statements. Director Eyal Sivan based \i The Specialist\i0 on Hannah Arendt's book \i Eichmann in Jerusalem, A Report on the Banality of Evil\i0 . Because 1961 was the first time that the numerous witness statements were made public, they captured the attention of almost all media. But like Arendt, Sivan concentrates on Eichmann the person. Just who was he?

Credits

  • 128 min
  • black and white
  • 35mm
  • Spoken languages: French, English, German, Hebrew
Director
Eyal Sivan
Production
Armelle Laborie for Momento!, Eyal Sivan
Co-production
Arcapix, France
Cinematography
Leo Hurwitz
Sound
Philippe Baudhuin, Nicolas Becker

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