Austria 2018, 94 min, English, French and German, Hebrew & English subtitles
Kurt Waldheim’s successful bid for the Austrian presidency in 1986 was a turning point in Austrian history, and perhaps the point when the media first became concerned about ‘fake news’. With an impressive diplomatic career and two terms as U.N. Secretary-General, Waldheim never suspected someone would dig into his past. And then it turned out the patchy biography he had presented to the world had a few missing pieces that he’d “forgotten” to mention, like his service as an officer in German military units complicit in war crimes during World War II.
Using archival footage from around the world and her own materials filmed in protests held against Waldheim, director Ruth Beckermann pinpoints the moment when Austria realized it had never been a victim of the Nazis, but a willing collaborator. The film won the Original Documentary award at the Berlinale.
Previous Festivals: Berlinale
Editing: Dieter Pichler
Soundtrack: Manuel Grandpierre, Rudolf Pototschnig
Ruth Beckermann was born and raised in Vienna. After her studies in journalism and history of art in Vienna, Tel Aviv and New York, she earned her doctorate in 1977 at the University of Vienna. She since contributed as a journalist to several Austrian and Swiss magazines.
In 1978 she co-founded the distribution company Filmladen in which she was active for seven years. In this period Ruth Beckermann started to make films and to write books. Since 1985 she works as a writer and filmmaker.