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The Waldheim Waltz
A film about truth and lies or “alternative facts”. Ruth Beckermann documents the process of uncovering former UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim’s wartime past. It shows the swift succession of new allegations by the World Jewish Congress during his Austrian presidential campaign, the denial by the Austrian political class, the outbreak of anti-Semitism and patriotism, which finally led to his election. Created from international archive material and footage Beckermann shot at the time, the film analyses the collapse of the Austrian grand illusion: having been the first victim of the Nazis.
|Screen ratio:||4:3 (1:1.89 pillarboxed)|
|Language spoken:||German, English, French|
|Awards (selection):||Glashütte Original Documentary Award (Berlin), Premio 14° Play Doc (Tui), Honorable Mention (Tel Aviv/Docaviv), Audience Award (Atlàntida)|
«I see the Waldheim affair as a conflict of generations»
Kurt Waldheim’s lapse of memory was the beginning of a process which saw the Austrian narrative – that the country was the first victim of National Socialism – eventually eroded. His campaign for the 1986 presidential election polarised the country. Ruth Beckermann, an activist at the time, has now edited Austrian and international archive material for THE WALDHEIM WALTZ to create a film which, revisits the conflicts in collective and individual memory.
Austrian films at the 68th Berlinale
Ruth Beckermann, Katharina Mückstein, Ludwig Wüst, Werner Boote and three more co-productions add up to an outstanding Austrian presence at the Berlinale 2018: Forum with THE WALDHEIM WALTZ by R. Beckermann and DEPARTURE by L. Wüst. Panorama Special with L’ANIMALE by K.Mückstein, Culinary Cinema presents W. Boote’s THE GREEN LIE.
Best Berlinale Documentary THE WALDHEIM WALTZ
Ruth Beckermann wins the GLASHÜTTE ORIGINAL – DOCUMENTARY AWARD selected out of 18 nominated films from the different Berlinale programmes, endowed with € 50,000. Wolfgang Fischer’s STYX took three awards including the EUROPA CINEMAS BERLINALE LABEL, the Prize of the ECUMENICAL JURY for the films screened at the Panorama and the HEINER CAROW Prize.
THE WALDHEIM WALTZ at Cinéma du réel
Ruth Beckermann’s Berlinale Best Documentary winner WALDHEIM’S WALTZ is part of the international competition of the 40th Cinema du Réel. Only two years ago, Ruth Beckermann was awarded the Prix de la Scam and a special mention at the Young Award for her previous opus The Dreamed Ones at the Paris based festival.
THE WALDHEIM WALTZ wins at Play Doc
Ruth Beckermann’s Berlinale winner THE WALDHEIM WALTZ took the main award together with Pablo Sigg’s Lamaland (part I). at the 14th PLAY DOC festival where both films had celebrated their Spanish premiere. The film sets the Waldheim affair in a bigger international political context, yet 30 years on, it is dauntingly timely”, stated the jury.
WALDHEIM’S WALTZ: Austria’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film
The Berlinale Best Documentary winner has been selected the Austrian submission for the 2019 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. WALDHEIM’S WALTZ by Ruth Beckermann is the astute revisiting of the 1986 Waldheim affair that lead to the collapse of Austria’s comforting narrative of being the first nazi victim. „Clear, impassioned, but never polemical“, Variety
DOK Leipzig with THE DAYS AND THE YEAR and a tribute to Ruth Beckermann
The 61th DOK Leipzig hosts the world premiere of Othmar Schmiderer’s THE DAYS AND THE YEAR and pays tribute to Ruth Beckermann with a special program including early works as well as the Austrian Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film – THE WALDHEIM WALTZ. Ruth Beckermann is also jury member of the Next Masters competition
Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s THE BORDER FENCE competes at IDFA
The Austrian film year ends with a film about frontiers – on the political agenda, in everyday life, in our minds ... Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s accurate observation THE BORDER FENCE is part of the 31st IDFA main competition. Also screening in Amsterdam: THE WALDHEIM WALTZ by Ruth Beckermann in the Masters selection and Amsterdam Human Rights Award Nominee CHAOS by Sara Fattahi in Best of Fests and Main Focus Program.