The Waldheim Waltz
In 1986 when Austrian activists were protesting against Kurt Waldheim, filmmaker Ruth Beckermann was both protester and reporter, capturing confrontations between activists and Waldheim supporters. 30 years later, Beckermann uses her footage, as well as contemporaneous news archives, to chronicle Waldheim’s run for the Presidency of Austria amidst allegations of involvement in Nazi atrocities during WWII. Amid rising anti-Semitism and nationalism, the film reexamines an uncomfortable chapter in Austria’s history and raises timely questions about collective complicity, memory, and historical responsibility. Austria’s official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
“Informative and unnerving.” The NY Times
“Has a sense of urgency made more pressing given political developments not just in Austria but Poland and Hungary as well.” Variety
“That the filmmaker was part of the organized opposition to Waldheim and uses material from demonstrations in which she participated gives the movie additional passion.” NY Review of Books
Documentary / Dir: Ruth Beckermann / 2018 / Austria / German w/ Eng ST / 93 min
Best Documentary, Berlin Intl FF, Official Academy Award entry Austria; Docaviv FF, Stockholm FF; San Francisco JFF, Boston JFF, UK JFF