The Waldheim Waltz is a film about truth and lies or “alternative facts”. 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, and the the outbreak of antisemitism and patriotism, which finally led to his election. Created from international archive material and footage Beckermann shot at the time, the film analyses the collapse of the Austrian grand illusion: “having been the first victim of the Nazis”. Narrated by Beckermann, The Waldheim Waltz sets the Waldheim affair in a bigger international political context, and 30 years on, it is dauntingly timely.
Ruth Beckermann is an Austrian writer and filmmaker. Her award-winning films include Paper Bridge, East of War and the Dreamed Ones. The Waldheim Waltz won the Glashütte-Original Documentary Award at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Laura Mulvey is a British feminist film theorist and senior Professor of Film Studies at Birkbeck, University of London.
Event Organisers: Dr. Diana Popescu (Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism), Dr. Janet McCabe (BIRMAC, School of Arts), and Dr. Silke Arnold-de Simine (BIRMAC, School of Arts).