The Pierre Werner Institute and the Representation of the European Commission in Luxembourg will present the documentary "The Waldheim Waltz" as part of Luxfilmfest on 13 March 2019 at 18:30 at the Cinémathèque.
Ruth Beckermann's documentary film explores the Nazi past of Kurt Waldheim, former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Federal President of Austria from 1986 to 1992, and links this episode to the era of post-truth today. The film consists mainly of archival documents and videos.
When the World Jewish Congress in New York discovered the missing parts of Waldheim's biography, those concerning his activities during the Second World War, he tried to escape by denying the truth and using "alternative facts". The accusations in some Austrian circles led to defiant reactions, a tightening of nationalist ties and a resurgence of anti-Semitic tendencies. At the international level, the country remained isolated. A more progressive Austria will finally engage in an open and courageous confrontation with its past.
The daughter of survivors of the Holocaust, Ruth Beckermann was born in 1952 in Vienna. After studying journalism and art history in Vienna, Tel Aviv and New York, she defended her doctoral thesis in philosophy in 1977. In 1978, she began her career as an independent writer and filmmaker. In her cinematographic work, the recurring themes are the Jewish narratives of loss and identity. Her documentary The Dreamed Ones (2016) was presented at the Luxembourg City Film Festival in 2018.
The original version of the film (German language) will be screened with French subtitles.
The session will be followed by a debate with Gregor Schusterschitz, the Austrian Ambassador to Luxembourg.