The Waldheim Waltz Screen 4 articles

The Waldheim Waltz


The Waldheim Waltz Poster
  • What keeps The Waldheim Waltzengaging from moment to moment isn’t so much a matter of narrative twists and turns as Beckermann’s explorations of the ramifications of the arguments flung back and forth thirty years ago on the identity and future of a country that, just last December, voted in a ruling coalition of conservatives and nationalists.

  • While Beckermann keeps to a clear chronology limited to the months of his presidential bid, there is contextual insight aplenty in footage of Waldheim with his family as they ardently assist him in promoting his supposed «Christian values», This sheds light on the wider context of a society with a dangerous antipathy to plurality.

  • As much essay as straight documentary, the film is united by a lightly-woven thread in which Beckmann muses on the role of the film-maker in political action, and the question of whether it’s better to take part in protests or stay behind the lens and film them: in fact, in her black-and-white footage, shot on an early video camera, Beckermann manages to do both.

  • 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.

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