Oscars: Austria Selects 'The Waldheim Waltz' for Foreign-Language Category

Courtesy of Ruth Beckermann Filmproduktion
'The Waldheim Waltz'

Ruth Beckermann's documentary re-examines collective Austrian guilt in the Nazi war crimes scandal surrounding the country's former president.

Austria has picked Ruth Beckermann's documentary The Waldheim's Waltz as its entry for the foreign-language category at the 2019 Academy Awards.

The film re-examines recent European history though a look back to 1986, when former United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim launched his election bid to become president of Austria just as a wave of shocking revelations broke about his Nazi military exploits during World War II.

Beckermann was an activist who protested Waldheim's campaign, but at the time, much of Austria remained in denial over the country's complicity with Nazi war crimes.

The Waldheim Waltz premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the Glashutte Prize for best documentary.

Austria has been nominated four times for the foreign-language Oscar and has won twice, for Stefan Ruzowitzky's The Counterfeiters in 2007 and for Michael Haneke's Amour in 2012.

The nominees for the 2019 Oscars will be announced on Jan. 22, 2019. The 91st Academy Awards will be held on Feb. 24, 2019.