Kurt Waldheim, one of Austria’s most notorious and well-known diplomats, was UN Secretary General from 1972 to 1981, eventually running for Austria’s presidency in 1986. Waldheim was popular at home and well-liked abroad despite his Nazi ties, having served in the Wehrmacht during World War II. Candidate Waldheim fervently denied this ugly history, yet new revelations arose during the campaign. Beckermann, one of Europe’s finest documentarians, uncovers the many faces of Waldheim through a piercing kind of excavation. What results is a deeply perceptive and necessary film crafted from archival footage, showing a deeply flawed yet extremely powerful man at the center of a national process of reckoning with the horrors—and complicity— of its past. Austria’s foreign-language Oscar submission.
Filmography: Arena Squatted (1977), Return to Vienna (1984), Paper Bridge (1987), Towards Jerusalem (1991), East of War (1996), A Fleeting Passage to the Orient (1999), Homemad(e) (2001), American Passages (2011), Those Who Go Those Who Stay (2013), The Dreamed Ones (2016)