The Waldheim Waltz

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    The Waldheim Waltz

    Waldheims Walzer

    Directed by



    93 min

    • French
    • English
    • German


    A film about truth and lies and how a dishonest man can rise to power.
    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 what Beckermann shot at the time, the film shows that history repeats itself time and time again.


    • Austria's Submission for the 91st Academy Awards


    Labels & Line Ups


    Ruth Beckermann
    Dieter Pichler


    Thanks to her smart narration — clear, impassioned but never polemical — and the astute way she allows exceptional footage to play out to its full extent, “The Waldheim Waltz” has a sense of urgency made more pressing given political developments not just in Austria but Poland and Hungary as well.

    Jay Weissberg, Variety

    With its withering exposé of a politically—and, greater still, morally—crippling guilt remarkably, tragically, and deftly managed by a seasoned professional on his rise to the highest of powers, The Waldheim Waltz is, obviously, brutally relevant not only for its native Austria, whose new 31-year-old Chancellor has raised alarm bells of conservative extremity, but also for all world leaders who have the ghastly ability to somehow survive the fiercest and most upright scrutiny.

    Daniel Kasman, Mubi

    Ruth Beckermann

    Ruth Beckermann


    I enter into a close relationship with the people in front of the camera, even if it is only for a short time, it's almost like a love story. Analytic reflection comes before and after.

    Ruth Beckermann was born in Vienna. She studied Journalism and History of Art in Vienna, Tel Aviv and New York, after which she obtained her doctorate in Philosophy at the University of Vienna. Along with Josef Aichholzer and Franz Grafl, she co-founded the Filmladen distribution company in 1978. She was involved with the company for seven years, and her first films and books date from that period. Her latest feature, THE WALDHEIM WALTZ, premiered at the Berlinale Forum 2018.

    Selected Filmography