momento! films Ltd

momento! 38, rue de la Chine, 75020 Paris France - tel | fax +33 (0)1 43 66 25 24
momento distribution (scalpel) SARL au capital de 7.700 euros - VAT # FR 71 477 699 250

The Specialist,

portrait of a modern criminal

by Eyal Sivan

Inspired from "Eichman in Jerusalem, Report on the banality of Evil" by Hannah Arendt
“an amazing document” - The New York Times
“cutting-edge, unique item is a must” - Variety

“Remarkable...The Specialist remains a powerful disruption of the condensation of morality, law, and statehood”
- Prof. Benjamin Robinson, Critical Inquiry

Official Selection Berlin Film Festival 1999Documentary of the year, SCAM (Authors Society) France 2001Adolf Grimme Golden Price Germany 2001
France Cinema prize, Florence, 1999 • The Vatican 3rd Millennium Prize, Rome 1999 • Selections : Doc Aviv, Tel-Aviv 1999 • Toronto Int.l Film Festival 1999 • Margaret Mead Film Festival, NY 1999 • Human Rights Watch Film Festival, London 2000 • Hong Kong Int. Film Festival 2000 • 
Director Eyal Sivan | Co-author Rony Brauman | Documentary | 1999 | 128 mn | B/W | 4:3  |
Dialog : Hebrew, German | Subtitles: English + | ISBN 2-915683-09-3
DISCIPLINES Education interest

The Specialist is a courtroom drama painting the portrait of a zealous bureaucrat who has immense respect for the Law and hierarchy, a police official responsible of the elimination of several million people.  Inspired from Hannah Arendt's book : "Eichmann in Jerusalem, Report on the banality of evil", this incredible trial of an appallingly ordinary man, is drawn entirely on the 350 hours of rare footage recorded during the trial the Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann, in 1961, in Jerusalem.

It is a film about obedience and responsibility, drawing the portrait of an expert in problems resolving, a modern criminal.
Described as a blood-thirsty pervert, the Machiavellian liar and a serial-killer by the prosecution the accused yet appears as a quiet family man, both comic and terrifying in his banality. Although he doesn't deny the role he played in the criminal enterprise that he belonged to, he shelters behind the instructions of his superiors, his vow of allegiance and the obligation of obey orders.
He considers that his role as a mere agent, a purely administrative and logistic one, devoid of all passion, shelters him from the justice of men, even through it may not exempt him from all responsibility.
Intoxicated on the dizziness of his own powerlessness, the accused describes himself as "a drop in the ocean, an instrument in the hands of superior forces". If he hadn't done it, he says, someone else would have done it instead.
The contrast between the monstrous nature of the crime and the mediocrity of the accused is immediately striking and becomes even more apparent during the thirteen scenes making up this documentary feature, revealing the portrait of a terrifyingly ordinary man.

Key words: Adolf Eichmann, Archival footage, Banality of Evil, Bureaucracy, Crimes against humanity jurisdiction, Final Solution, Genocide, Hannah Arendt, Holocaust, Nazism, Obedience


PURCHASE Education license

DVD $300
DSL $495
Blu-Ray $330

momento! films Ltd

momento! 38, rue de la Chine, 75020 Paris France - tel | fax +33 (0)1 43 66 25 24
momento distribution (scalpel) SARL au capital de 7.700 euros - VAT # FR 71 477 699 250