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 had realised the compilation film “Arena Besetzt“ she founded the film distributing company “filmladen” in 1978, where she was active for seven years. In this period her early films and books were created. 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 a box office hit in Vienna since mid-December. Beckermann accompanied four 12-year-olds of Jewish origin during their preparations for the bar mitzva, the Jewish initiation ritual into the world of grown-ups. The sensitive and humorous film does not only show the difficulties of young people in growing up and maturing but also those the parents have with their offspring. Moreover, the documentary gives insight into the vibrant Jewish culture and tradition in Vienna.
© Federal Chancellery Austria