The Waldheim Waltz
2018, Ruth Beckermann, Austria, 93 min.
- Fri, Mar 15th 2:00pm
- Sun, Mar 17th 4:30pm
“Remarkable…spotlights unresolved national traumas and unabated anti-Semitism.”--Richard Brody, New Yorker
This documentary resonates eerily in our time, as director Beckermann (THE DREAMED ONES, ZORRO’S BAR MITZVAH) examines how an Austrian presidential campaign tore the lid off the darker aspects of candidate Kurt Waldheim’s past, and emboldened neo-Nazis and racists to speak and act openly. Waldheim’s image as a benevolent humanitarian, cultivated during his stint as U.N. Secretary-General, was dashed when new, damning details about his possible administrative role in massacres while he served in Nazi uniform surfaced just as he launched his 1986 bid for Austria’s presidency. Beckermann assembles an eye-opening history of the campaign from archival film and her own footage shot during street demonstrations, when long-hidden anti-Semitic sympathies emerge with a vengeance, giving the lie to Austria’s claim to have been “Hitler’s first victim.” Winner of Best Documentary at the Berlin Film Festival, and Austria’s submission for Oscar consideration. DCP digital. In German, English, and French with English subtitles. Courtesy of Menemsha Films. (BS)