Ruth Beckermann’s Documentary "Zorro’s Bar Mitzva" is a Hit

News from Austria (Austrian Federal Chancellery)

Viennese documentary filmmaker Ruth Beckermann earned a doctorate at the University of Vienna in 1977 after studying journalism and art history. Together with Josef Aichholzer and Franz Grafl, with whom she produced the film “Arena Besetzt,“ she founded the film distributing company “filmladen” in 1978, where she remained for seven years while producing films and writing numerous books. Beckermann’s splendid documentaries include: “East of War,“ “A Fleeting Passage to the Orient,“ “Return to Vienna“ and “Paper Bridge.“

Her latest masterly work is the documentary, “Zorro’s Bar Mitzva,“ which has been widely popular in Vienna since mid-December. Beckermann accompanied four 12-year-olds of Jewish origin during their preparation for the bar mitzva, the Jewish initiation ritual into the world of grown-ups. The sensitive and humorous film not only shows the difficulties of young people growing up and maturing but also the difficulties parents have with their offspring. Moreover, the documentary gives insight into the vibrant Jewish culture and tradition in Vienna.