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Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt

  • Israel, Canada
  • Documentary
  • 2015
  • 124 / 52 min.
  • Director(s): Ada Ushpiz
  • Producer(s): Ina Fichman, Ada Ushpiz


Hannah Arendt, one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century, both lived through and wrote about the open wounds of modern times. Her insights about the nature of evil, origins of totalitarianism and plight of refugees sound today more relevant than ever. The deep humanistic message at the core of her thinking is no less relevant.

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Ada Ushpiz


Ina Fichman, Ada Ushpiz

Executive Producer(s)

Hedva Goldschmidt, Stefan Pannen


Ada Ushpiz


Itai Neeman, German Gutierrez, Philippe Lavalette, Zachary Halberd


Hadas Ayalon

Original Music

John Wilson

Original Language

English, Hebrew, German



Production Companies

Intuitive Pictures (Canada), AU Films (Israel)

Produced with the help of

New Israeli Fund for Film and TV, Israeli Lottery Foundation, Sodec Quebec, Rogers Documentary Fund, Claims Conference


Channel 8 Israel, SRC Canada, WDR/Arte, SVT, RTS


Michel Tanguay

Sound designer

Michel Lambert

Festival Highlights

  • Winner

    Best Editing Award
    Sole Luna International Film Festival
  • Winner

    Best Doc Award
    Santa Barbara International Film Festival
  • Winner

    Award for Best documentary on Literature
    Master of Art Film Festival

Seoul International Women's Film Festival, Korea, 2016

New Zealand International Film Festival, New Zealand, 2016

Santa Barbara International Film Festival, USA, 2016

DocuTIFF, Albania, 2016

Human Rights International Film Festival Paris, France, 2016

Film Forum NY, USA, 2016

It's All True Film Festival, Brazil, 2016

EDOC, Ecuador, 2016

Göteborg Film Festival, Sweden, 2016

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2016

Jerusalem International Film Festival, Israel, 2015

Kasseler Dok Fest, Germany, 2015

IDFA, Holland, Panorama, 2015

Munich Film Fesitval, Germany, 2015

Filmmor Women’s Film Festival, Turkey, 2015

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  • "Highly thought-provoking…"
    - Sneak Film
  • "A masterpiece of documentary filmmaking that delves deep rather than whitewash"
    - Shany Littman, Ha'aretz
  • "… the ultimate choice of the controversial as the place from which to illuminate Arendt’s greatness."
    - Yitzchak Laor, Ha'aretz
  • "A wonderful tribute to one of the most important women thinkers of the 20th century."