Franz West (1909-85) remembers his youth in Vienna: the variety of the Jewish population in the so-called Matzah-Island, his commitment to the worker’s movement of the Red Vienna and the rise of Austro-fascism and National Socialism. Combined with impressive archive footage, West’s masterly narration illustrates and elucidates the complexity of Austrian history between WW1 and WW2.
- Festival dei Popoli (1984)
- Jerusalem Film Festival (1984)
- DOK Leipzig (1984)
- Cinéma du Réel (1984)
- Golden Gate Award - San Francisco International Film Festival (1984)
He founded the distributor Filmverleih Filmladen in 1978 together with Ruth Beckermann and Franz Grafl. Since then, Josef has worked in various areas of the film industry, mainly in screenwriting, production and directing. In 1983 he directed the film Wien retour together with Ruth Beckermann. He was a co-founder of the Votiv Kino cinema, which he ran from 1986 to 1996. Since founding Aichholzer Filmproduktion GmbH in 1998, he has worked exclusively as a producer on films such as: The Counterfeiters (2007), which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film; East of War (1996); A Fleeting Passage to the Orient (1999); The Whore's Son (2004); My Best Enemy (2011).
She was born in Vienna where she also spent her childhood. After her studies in journalism and history of art in Vienna, Tel Aviv and New York, she got her PhD degree in 1977 at the University of Vienna. She has since contributed as a journalist to several Austrian and Swiss magazines.
In 1978 she (co-)founded the distribution company Filmladen, where she was active for seven years. During this period, Ruth Beckermann started to make films and write books. Since 1985 she has been working as a writer and filmmaker. Her film The Dreamed Ones was selected at many international festivals and won several awards. In 2018, Ruth Beckermann finished her latest film The Waldheim Waltz and won, among other awards, the Glashütte-Original Documentary Award from the Berlin International Film Festival.
Filmography: The Dreamed Ones (2016); The Missing Image (2015); Those Who Go Those Who Stay (2013); Jackson/Marker 4am (2012); American Passages (2011); Mozart Enigma (2006); Zorros Bar Mizwa (2006); Homemad(E) (2001); A Fleeting Passage to the Orient (1999); East of War (1996); Towards Jerusalem (1991); Paper Bridge (1987); Return to Vienna (1984); The Steel Hammer Out There on the Grass (1981); Suddenly, a Streik (1978); Arena Squatted (1977).