Film Archive

American Passages

Documentary Film
Austria
2011
120 minutes
subtitles: 
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ursula Wolschlager
Ruth Beckermann
Antoine Parouty, Lisa Rinzler
Dieter Pichler
Atanas Tcholakov, Matthew Dennis
A fragmented and haunting image of the US between a spirit of departure and hopelessness at the beginning of the Obama era, revolving around racism, the housing crisis, individualism and religion. Beckermann constructs an argument of contradictions that foreshadows current American politics and discovers only the detritus of the American Dream in all its perversity. What’s left is an amazed and curious collection of that which is still filmable. The US seem particularly well-adapted to the passage-like character of Beckermann’s works which take the liberty of letting people speak, not prejudices.

Patrick Holzapfel
Homage Ruth Beckermann 2018
Auf amol a Streik Ruth Beckermann, Josef Aichholzer

A look at the incendiary political situation in Austria at the end of the 1970s. It was the time that made Beckermann turn to film.

Auf amol a Streik

Documentary Film
Austria
1978
24 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ruth Beckermann, Josef Aichholzer
Ruth Beckermann, Josef Aichholzer
Ruth Beckermann, Josef Aichholzer
Ruth Beckermann, Josef Aichholzer
A look at the incendiary political situation in Austria at the end of the 1970s. It was the time that made Beckermann turn to film. First in collective efforts, here with Josef Aichholzer, who founded Filmladen distribution with Beckermann and Franz Grafl in 1978. Their motivation is clearly political. They listen where nobody else seems interested. The subject is a strike at the Semperit works in Traiskirchen. On different levels and by means of conversations, interviews, charts and photos the filmmakers try to understand what is otherwise treated only too superficially. Quite naturally the film lets the workers speak, too.

Patrick Holzapfel

Bojo Beach

Documentary Film
Austria
2017
25 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Elke Groen, Bady Mink, Alexander Dumreicher Ivanceanu
Elke Groen
Elke Groen
Emily Artmann
Ina Ivanceanu
Fishermen on the Ghanaian coast going about their daily business – or at least the work they must do to ultimately have some kind of business (perhaps). In the same spirit, filmmaker Elke Groen, in her respectful and reserved observation, has no preconceptions of what the ultimate result of this material shot on one day in May 2016 is to be. So this is no quick report in which everything is eventually reduced to one pithy idea, but the cinematographic creation of an experience space.

Ralph Eue
Homage Ruth Beckermann 2018
Die Geträumten Ruth Beckermann

A sensitive dissection and an experiment with the discourse and the speechlessness of lovers: we see wet eyes and hear heavy swallowing in the face of words that sometimes weren’t even posted.

Die Geträumten

Documentary Film
Austria
2016
89 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ruth Beckermann
Johannes Hammel
Dieter Pichler
Ruth Beckermann, Ina Hartwig
Georg Misch
A sensitive dissection and an experiment with the discourse and the speechlessness of lovers: we see wet eyes and hear heavy swallowing in the face of words that sometimes weren’t even posted. The long lasting correspondence between Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan is recorded by voice actors (Anja Plaschg and Laurence Rupp) in an ORF sound studio, interrupted by smoking breaks and short conversations that, like an echo, allow the words to have an effect in the present day. With co-author Ina Hartwig, Beckermann condensed the back and forth of emotions to an essence that could be seen as an impossible love story or a possible history of love.

Patrick Holzapfel

Die papierene Brücke

Documentary Film
Austria
1987
95 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ruth Beckermann
Ruth Beckermann
Nurith Aviv
Gertraud Luschützky
Ruth Beckermann
Josef Aichholzer, Reinhold Kaiser, Heinz Ebner
Betty Beckermann, Salo Beckermann, Herbert Gropper, Robert Schindel, Willy Stern, Rabbi Wassermann
It would be good to have no images of certain things, Beckermann’s urgent narrator’s voice says. That way they would be remembered. Her pulsating film essay, however, works against forgetting on a lost search for home. It is both a personal and a historical journey, undertaken by Beckermann with her camera and a restlessness that needs to know more. The weight of the past is made tangible by the wakeful and permissive registration of what is happening in the here and now. We drift through the remains of a Jewish identity in Czernowitz, Israel, the set of a television film made in former Yugoslavia and the Viennese streets where Kurt Waldheim divides the population.

Patrick Holzapfel

Die Tage wie das Jahr

Documentary Film
Austria
2018
86 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Othmar Schmiderer
Othmar Schmiderer
Othmar Schmiderer
Arthur Summereder
Angela Summereder, Othmar Schmiderer
Angela Summereder, Arthur Summereder, Othmar Schmiderer
A steady-handed film: a year on an organic farm in the Waldviertel in Lower Austria. Filmed from neither too close nor too far away but at the exactly right distance, portraying life and its various activities and incidents between the house and the stables. There is the ewe that sounds almost human as it gives birth to its lamb. The delicate kids skipping over the straw as if it concealed red-hot stones. The front loader whose long thin arms drive into the hay bales and skewer them. Or watching Elfie, the farmer, prepare glass bottles for labels with a glue stick. In the meantime, her husband Gottfried is setting up a small market stand. And during milking goats as well as people are entertained by historic dance music. Being present at all these processes has a meditative quality, the special rhythm created by a strong but not hectic and very regular beat communicates itself to the viewer and generates enjoyment and hope.

Carolin Weidner


Nominated for the Healthy Workplaces Film Award

Doppelgänger

Documentary Film
Austria,
Germany
2017
20 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Michaela Taschek
Michaela Taschek
Anna Kohlweis
Sandra Wollner
Michaela Taschek
Denis Elmaci
Erich Taschek, filmmaker Michaela Taschek’s father, used to be a fun-loving and sociable man. But then “Eichi” turned into a taciturn loner who locked himself in the cellar to make models and hardly ever left the house. After his death Taschek uses family photos and home movies to invent a wild doppelganger theory that provides a plot for her long lasting feelings of alienation. An essay about disappearance and the power of projection in “documentary” images.

Esther Buss
Homage Ruth Beckermann 2018
Ein flüchtiger Zug nach dem Orient Ruth Beckermann

The parallels drawn between the empress Elisabeth’s and Ruth Beckermann’s journeys tell of the luxury of strolling and a female eye in search of freedom.

Ein flüchtiger Zug nach dem Orient

Documentary Film
Austria
1999
82 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ruth Beckermann
Ruth Beckermann
Bruno Pisek, Peter Ponger, Ernst Zettl
Nurith Aviv, Sophie Cadet
Gertraud Luschützky
Bruno Pisek
The parallels drawn between the empress Elisabeth’s and Ruth Beckermann’s journeys tell of the luxury of strolling and a female eye in search of freedom. In feverish parallels, the filmmaker follows the traces of the “Sissi” myth in Cairo and discovers an image transcending the oasis of wellbeing that is the romanticizing cult film. The results are masterfully interwoven in loose layers between home and freedom, loneliness and Orientalism. Doubts about her own image production are lurking everywhere. A longing to break out of preordained paths can be felt in every second. To see things the way a free woman could have seen them.

Patrick Holzapfel

Mozart Enigma

Documentary Film
Austria
2006
1 minute
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ruth Beckermann, Ruth Pfletschinger
Ruth Beckermann
Joerg Burger, Martin Putz
Dieter Pichler
Joerg Burger, Martin Putz
The fictions of biographical securities are shaken by a fortune teller’s encounter with an edited picture of the young Mozart. What life will be predicted for this man? Exposing an illusion is also the chance to see a new, different image. This ironic short film is one of many miniatures made by Austrian filmmakers in the Mozart anniversary year of 2006. In actual fact, it discusses one of the essential questions in Beckermann’s work: what is a just image and can it be produced at all?

Patrick Holzapfel

Narrating Hebron

Documentary Film
Austria,
Israel,
Palestinian territories
2017
21 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Viktoria Bayer
Viktoria Bayer
Viktoria Bayer
Viktoria Bayer
Viktoria Bayer
Viktoria Bayer
History is created by the person who tells it. And there are many different ways of telling it. Biases shift, details are left out or emphasised. In Hebron, a city in West Jordan divided into zones and inhabited by both Israelis and Palestinians, convictions about history and truth intersect with and are superimposed upon each other. The film collects the different narratives, told by Israeli and Palestinian city guides.

Carolin Weidner

TAPP und TASTKINO

Documentary Film
Austria
1968
2 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Valie Export
Expanding the cinema by narrowing the dark space to the utmost extreme. Or, in the words of Valie Export: “Tactile reception versus the deceit of voyeurism.”

Ralph Eue

Una Primavera

Documentary Film
Austria,
Germany,
Italy
2018
80 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Johannes Schubert
Valentina Primavera
Macarena Solervicens
Valentina Primavera
Federico Neri
Valentina Primavera
Valentina Primavera, Macarena Solervicens
The photos from the time when Fiorella and Bruno married bear the marks of a lost epoch. The bride – white dress, lace veil – looks slightly upward, like a picture of the Virgin Mary. The groom – black hair, black suit – looks straight into the lens, piercing and dark. She can’t say whether she ever loved him, Fiorella, who has just put the heavy, encyclopaedia-sized wedding album on her lap, says. 40 years lie between those photos and the presence of this film – 40 years of losing herself, as Fiorella once confesses in tears.

Valentina Primavera, the couple’s youngest daughter, returns to her parental home with a camera to expose a decade-long history of fights, insults and domestic violence. And she accompanies her mother’s attempt to finally and definitely break up with her husband after 40 years of marriage. The camera is a merciless device. Facing up to its relentlessness, that’s where the physical strength and effort of this film lie.

Lukas Stern


Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize

Homage Ruth Beckermann 2018
Waldheims Walzer Ruth Beckermann

Ruth Beckermann’s chronological analysis of the Waldheim affair is her first exclusive found footage work and at the same time a return to one of her essential themes: Kurt Waldheim.

Waldheims Walzer

Documentary Film
Austria
2018
93 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ruth Beckermann
Ruth Beckermann
Dieter Pichler
Ruth Beckermann
Manuel Grandpierre, Rudolf Pototschnig
Ruth Beckermann’s chronological analysis of the Waldheim affair is her first exclusive found footage work and at the same time a return to one of her essential themes: Kurt Waldheim, whose dishonesty regarding his Nazi past triggered a necessary social discourse that has been given new significance by the political developments in Austria. Beckermann unfolds an inspiring history lesson, not without a touch of humour. The struggle for factual neutrality is quaking in the face of obvious lies. The film exposes a shameful episode in Austrian history and shows us a deep and gaping wound that won’t heal for a long time.

Patrick Holzapfel