DOK Leipzig 29. Oktober – 4. November 2018
61. Internationales Leipziger Festival für Dokumentar- und Animationsfilm
DOK Leipzig 29 October – 4 November 2018
61st International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
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Hommage Beckermann


The Waldheim Waltz. Directed by: Ruth Beckermann

“To demonstrate or to document?” – this question doesn’t just play a central role in The Waldheim Waltz, Ruth Beckermann’s most recent film, but has long since wound its way through the cinematic oeuvre of a filmmaker who is regarded as a co-founder of the independent film scene in Austria.

In relation to Beckermann’s films, it could be rephrased as demonstrating via documenting. Her name stands for a political cinema that aims to bring suppressed ideas to light and seeks historical truth. The Waldheim Waltz, which received the Documentary Award at the 2018 Berlinale and is now Austria’s candidate for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, can thus be read as a direct commentary on current political developments in Austria. Already in Paper Bridge, she brought her own exploration of Jewish identity into connection with the public appearances of former Austrian President Kurt Waldheim; the suspicion that he was involved in Nazi war crimes was the subject of heated debate in the 1980s.


In its homage to Ruth Beckermann, DOK Leipzig is showing the versatile filmmaker’s most well-known works on the one hand, but also turns its attention to her early films, in which she already connected the personal and the political. Suddenly, a Strike, for example, examines the Austria of the late seventies – the time when Beckermann co-founded the Filmladen film distributor and thus found her way to cinema. Drawing on interviews, graphics and photos, she uses film to try and grasp the background to an industrial dispute.  

The homage presents an overview of Beckermann’s artistically varied oeuvre: from found footage films to personal essays, from poetic hybrids of acting and reading to analyses of political events.


“Ruth Beckermann’s films have a very lyrical, searching quality on the one hand. On the other, she also deliberately highlights uncomfortable events from history and emphasizes what is otherwise denied or ignored”, is how filmmaker and author Patrick Holzapfel described her work, who curated the special programme together with DOK Leipzig Programmer Ralph Eue.

Films and Tickets

You can find the programme and buy tickets online in our Filmfinder.


In cooperation with the Leibniz Institute of Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow