Ruth Beckermann

Ruth Beckermann
Viennese filmmaker Ruth Beckermann, who has been making films since the 1970s, has created an exciting and widely recognized body of essay and documentary films. Her work is both deeply personal and political. She discusses the complex relationship between history and the present and reflects on her identity as a Jewish woman in postwar Austria and Europe. Tropes of travel and migration feature heavily in her work as means of experiencing the world and of staying alive, literally as well as artistically.

Beckermann's films speak about identity conflicts and class struggle (Suddenly, a Strike), her family history in the Habsburg monarchy (Paper Bridge), and the war generation as it confronts the crimes of the Wehrmacht (East of War). In 2016, she turned the love affair between poets Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann in postwar Vienna into an unconventional feature film (The Dreamed Ones). In her latest project, The Waldheim Waltz (2018), Beckermann uses 1980s archival footage of the "Waldheim Affair" to reflect on the mechanisms of populism and the media.

This is the first English-language publication on Ruth Beckermann's filmic oeuvre, including an original essay by Nick Pinkerton, an in-depth conversation with the artist conducted by Alexander Horwath and Michael Omasta, and a detailed filmography by Michael Omasta and Brigitte Mayr.

Publication Date: 
June 4, 2019