International Program


Ruth Beckermann

Thursday Thu 23.06.202223.06.2218:15Stadtkino Basel
Saturday Sat 25.06.202225.06.2221:00Stadtkino Basel

Ruth Beckermann

Austria 2022. 100 Min.
Color. German/ EN

In presence of the director


Intro Essay – Twisted Tales: Power and Performance in Mutzenbacher and Rewing & Play by Jesse Cumming


Several men flock to filmmaker Ruth Beckermann’s broadcasting call for men between the ages of 16 and 99 who are willing to dive into the cinematographic adaptation of the controversial Austrian erotic novel Josefine Mutzenbacher or The Story of a Viennese Whore, as Told by Herself. The book was published anonymously at the beginning of the 20th century and banned until recently and for some time was curiously believed to have been written by Felix Salten, author of Bambi.

These men read out loud, sing, act (some more unabashedly than others) passages of explicit sexual content, often voicing the female character, while the director incisively throws in questions about the feelings and memories that these texts elicit in them. Some auditions are individual, others in a group, but most in pairs, and the outcome of these interactions brings forth another layer of meaning to the film. Surprisingly enough, the device allows most subjects to be open, frank and apparently comfortable about disclosing facts about intimacy, sexual fantasies, taboos, or toxic masculinity. It is also interesting to observe when such vulnerability is uneasy.

An unexpected turn in Ruth Beckermann’s body of work, which is usually connected with a more openly political exploration, this a thought-provoking, spirited deconstruction of the notions of masculinity.

(Susana S. Rodrigues)


DirectorRuth Beckermann
ScreenplayRuth Beckermann, Claus Philipp
CinematographyJohannes Hammel
EditingDieter Pichler
SoundAndreas Hamza
Production CompanyRuth Beckermann Filmproduktion
World SalesRuth Beckermann

Ruth Beckermann

Ruth Beckermann is a filmmaker and author based in Vienna. Her films include The Paper Bridge, East of War and American Passages. In 2014 her film Those Who Go Those Who Stay received the big documentary film prize at the Diagonale in Graz. Two years later The Dreamed Ones was also honored there as best feature film. The Waldheim Waltz received several awards, including the Glashütte Original – Documentary Award for best documentary film at the Berlinale 2018, as well as an Oscar nomination. In 2019 Ruth Beckermann created the installation Joyful Joyce for the Salzburg Festival.