• The Waldheim Waltz

    Directed by Ruth Beckermann
    Austria | 93 minutes | FLOS: Foreign Language Oscar Submissions

When Kurt Waldheim ran for president of Austria in 1986, the World Jewish Congress brought to light previously unknown details of his wartime service as a Nazi officer. A film about truth and lies and how a dishonest man can rise to power.

film synopsis

When former United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim ran for president of his native Austria in 1986, the World Jewish Congress brought to light previously unknown details of his wartime service as a Nazi intelligence officer in the German Army Group E, stationed in Greece and Yugoslavia. There, he worked as an aide-de-camp to the later-executed war criminal Gen. Alexander Löhr; however, this active-duty service was omitted from his autobiography. Waldheim defended himself by maintaining that he was the victim of an international conspiracy. Documentarian Ruth Beckermann, an activist who covered the protests with an early video camera, blends her own material with archival footage to show how the Austrian political class reacted to the accusations. As one might predict, there was an outbreak of anti-Semitism and outraged patriotism, which finally led to Waldheim’s election. Highly relevant to our time, this is a film about truth and lies and how a dishonest man can rise to power.

In competition for the FIPRESCI Award.

film details

Director: Ruth Beckermann
Producers: Ruth Beckermann
Screenwriter: Ruth Beckermann
Editor: Kurt Hennrich
Original Language Title: Waldheims Walzer
Country: Austria
Language: in German, English and French with English subtitles
Year: 2018
Running Time: 93 minutes
Primary Company: Menemsha Films

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